All are property

  • However, the first wanders through a house grabbing what he/she finds interesting or thinks can be sold to some friend.
  • The second has deliberately targeted your home or neighborhood and has a fairly narrow list of objects that he/she can sell quickly to strangers.
  • The third is angry with you and believes that you have wronged him/her.

This first is stopped almost immediately by locked doors, windows and lights that automatically pop on with any motion near your home.

They are the most easily deterred because they have limited skills, are not in the business of breaking into homes and only make the choice because it “sounds like” some kind of fun at the time.

The second requires that you have extra secure locks such as those installed by Certified Locksmiths, alarm systems of some kind and/or an ability to identify them if they enter your home.


These offenders have minimal skill sets similar to the home handyman but are willing to break your window in order to get into your space. These are also the ones to use bump keys that are designed to break your standard lock.

The third has personal knowledge of when you are home and when the home is vacant. Often, they know where you keep a spare key or which door or window you leave unlocked most of the time.

They are familiar to your neighbors so often fly under the “abnormal behavior” radar that your neighbors may be on alert for. They may even wave at your neighbor as they approach the house.

These crooks are out to hurt you emotionally and if they have a violent nature, may want to hurt you physically. Most “home invasion robberies” are committed by this third group.


Opportunity Lawbreakers
have the following in common:

  • Work in groups of 2 or 3 that are formed at a local bar, party or club on the spur of the moment
  • Most Break-ins occur between the hours of Midnight and 1:00 a.m.
  • Average age of perpetrator is between 21 and 45
  • Property most often stolen is electronics such as cameras, laptops, video games and players and prescription medications
  • Average time inside a home is between 45 and 60 seconds

Often leave a mess behind as they toss things in their search

The hours of break-ins is assumed to be due to the fact that they have been busy getting high or drunk and hash their idea out with friends and willing participants.

This is one of the amateur types who participated in a burglary where a cell phone was taken thinking that they could sell it. Since they couldn’t, he tried to sell it back to the original owner THREE times. He was arrested in the end, by the way.

The chance of getting any of these items returned if the crooks are not caught within minutes of entering your home is very low because this group does not have professional contacts that they can sell these items to quickly.

Motion sensor lights installed at the corners of your home that light the entire yard, in the driveway and on the porch and patio areas are usually enough to squelch any opportunistic fantasies!

If you leave home for the weekend where your house if vacant at night, install sensors that turn your lights on when the doors or windows are moved more than ¼”. These types of sensors can be installed by lighting companies and can be used constantly or just when you are away from home.

Keeping a wireless camera in several rooms that alerts you and can be monitored from anywhere you happen to be is helpful for identifying entrants.

Some of these store the visual data with dates and times in the Cloud so that you can download it to a laptop and email it to the local police.


Career Property Snatchers
share the following attributes:

  • Work in pre-selected, close knit groups of 2 or 3 and usually have worked together previously
  • Most home burglaries occur between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Most car thefts occur between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m.
  • Are twice as likely to be white than black(130,000 to 63,000)
  • Most are committed by people over the age of 18
  • 60% are male while 40% are female
  • Property most often stolen is (in order of most often to lesser often) is clothing(72% of the time), firearms and ammunition (63% of the time), jewelry(48% of the time) and prescription medications (45% of the time)
  • Property least often taken is laptops, credit cards and televisions
  • Average time inside house is between 4 and 5 minutes

Notice that in this video, there is a team of 3. Two stroll into the back area where there is a privacy fence.

When they attempt to break the glass on the door, it shatters first instead of breaking clean confusing our genius burglar.

The guy that is squatted on the left side of the screen uses his cell phone to call someone as the other guy is trying to figure out how to push the glass in. And these guys have made burglarizing homes a “career”!

Pay attention to how casually they walk through the home and that they do not rummage through drawers or toss things around leaving a mess.

They spend almost 6 minutes on the property. The CCTV camera was being monitored in real time and the entire group, including the getaway driver, was caught.

  • Seldom leave a mess behind so that victims fail to notice immediately that there has been a break-in
  • Are deterred by noise – such as loud alarms, loud barking that can be heard by a neighbor and security cameras
  • Average IQ ranges between 80 and 95 – which is on the lower end of normal
  • Usually have some high school or technical school but most do not graduate in the traditional system – many do have GEDs
  • Fully believe that they are smarter than everyone else
  • Majority from middle and lower-middle class income brackets

Apparently, career burglars prefer day work – which tells us that the majority of those who choose this path prefer to work without supervision.

The racial breakdown provided is a national compilation and may differ in your particular city or town but non-whites commit fewer burglaries than white non-Hispanics.

A few experts suggest that perhaps this is because a non-white in a predominantly white neighborhood would stick out like a sore thumb and attract more attention.

As with the Opportunity Lawbreaker, the Career Property Snatcher’s average age is between 21 and 45 with the majority over the age of 25.

Twenty years ago, it was extremely rare to find a female participating in a burglary. Today, law enforcement almost expects it.

Of all the statistics on property stolen that seem curious, the fact that the number one item stolen by career thieves is clothing causes one to pause. Law enforcement and data does not indicate the reason for taking clothing but an argument could be made that these are items that are grabbed for personal use.

The career property snatchers know better than to leave a mess behind – such as evidence of ransacking – and this may be due to the fact that most were raised in fairly traditional middle and lower-middle income homes where neatness was stressed. (They can still hear Mom yelling at them to pick up after themselves.)

While they are not the brightest bulbs in the basket, they are not imbeciles unable to read, write or work a regular job for a living. And, since second-hand resale of household property doesn’t bring enough to pay rent in a nice apartment, we might also assume that they are somewhat lazy.

Most have worked in mainstream jobs at some time during their adulthood and are capable of obtaining employment if they choose to do so. Taking photos of your electronic items, engrave your name and phone number on the inside of your laptop, camera, video players and keeping close track of your prescription medications to know how much remains in each bottle every day will accomplish two things:

  1. You can identify your property
  2. Pawn shops actually look for these identifying marks – if they knowingly take stolen property, they lose their license, the property and are out all their profits

Revenge Burglars are known
to have following Behaviors:

Of the three groups, the Revenge Burglar is the most dangerous to confront and the most difficult to prevent from gaining entry.

  • 30% of property crimes are done by people known to the victim.

Be careful who you and other household members allow into your home. Be suspicious of everyone! Usually, these types of burglars are:

  • family members who think that they have the right to take your stuff because you are related
  • friends of someone in the household who “assumes” that you won’t mind if they take your stuff while you’re at work
  • friends who share some illegal interest with you – such as drug buddies
  • any of the above that are angry with you or at you
  • rarely, but occasionally, they may be service workers that you let into your home to fix something

Home Invasion Robbery is a separate and often lethal form of home break-ins because the intent is to harm, humiliate or kill the residents in the home.

If your home is ever broken into by someone that you know and items that you treasure are broken, report it to the police.

Home Invasion Robbery is an escalating violent crime and may begin as vandalism.

If you do not report it because you know or suspect that you know the perpetrator, you may inadvertently be allowing this angry person to get away with murder sometime down the line.

If he/she knows that the police will suspect him/her first if anything happens to you, they will hesitate to take action.