Secrets Burglars Don't Want You To Know
Updated: May 18
What Burglars Don’t Want You to Know
According to 2019 data from the FBI, there were almost 1.2 million residential burglaries. That’s a lot. That same data says that the financial loss per break-in was $2,661. But a break-in costs more than money.
There’s damage to your home, loss of trust in your community, and fear that it may happen again. Burglaries cost a lot.
While every crime is technically unique because of the criminal, target, and opportunity, most common crimes follow a pattern. When you look at thousands of residential burglaries, patterns start to arise.
These insights lead law enforcement to better protect their communities and civilians better protect their families. Today we’re going to look at a few of the most common things that burglars do, the secrets that burglars don't want you to know.
Burglars Secrets: Casing
First off, burglars really do case your home. Even if it’s small-time stuff, they will take the time to make sure they can get into and out of your home as expediently as possible. They do this for themselves. They don’t want to get caught or risk having a confrontation with you inside.
The first is you may see a car you don’t know driving by your house more frequently. This car will seemingly have nowhere to go, so it will act differently than a delivery person.
In the same vein look for people who are walking and jogging around your block that you don’t recognize. These people will linger in your area by taking phone calls, tying their shoes frequently, and doing their best to stay within eyesight of your home.
And you may pick up on the fact that these people look odd. It’s hard for the human body to lie. So your intuition may detect odd behavior and if it does, pay attention to that feeling.
Burglar Secrets: Sliding Glass Doors
Burglars don’t want you to know that sliding glass doors aren’t secure. I know that many homes have a sliding glass door but they are simply not secure enough to keep out even a rookie burglar. They can be easily unlocked because they are not installed correctly, and of course, there is the old favorite, a rock through the glass trick. Sliding glass doors make easy entry for the bad guys.
To counter this you can repair the door so the lock functions correctly and add a wooden dowel to the track to keep it from opening. The wooden dowel tip will also keep toddlers and dogs inside your home.
There are also films you can have installed that will hold if the glass is shattered. But you have to weigh that with what would you do if EMS or Fire had to make entry to save you. So that’s something you need to consider.
Burglar Secrets: They Know Where Your Stuff Is
Also, burglars don’t want you to know that they already know where all of your valuables are kept. While we all think we’re amazing home decorators, the fact is that humans act and move the same way generally speaking which means we store our stuff in roughly the same places.
So let’s play a game.
Where is your jewelry kept? The master bedroom, right?
Where are your prescriptions kept? The kitchen and master bathroom.
Where are your tools? The garage.
Where are your guns? Most likely there’s at least one in the master bedroom. If you have a large collection then you have a big safe on the main floor or walkout basement.
Where’s the Xbox? Kids' room or playroom, right?
Do you see the point I’m making? How many of those locations did I get right for your house? If I know that, then the average burglar knows that.
Burglars are going to fine-tune their invasion to maximize their loot while expending little energy to minimize the chances of being caught. So if you have some piece of jewelry that you just can’t live without, keep it in a safe deposit box, or hide it in your home. In my book, Home Security: The Secure Dad’s Guide I give a great example of where to stash jewelry in your home.
Burglar Secrets: Stealing Your Identity
Burglars don’t want you to know that they will take your mail and personal documents. The same people that will steal your jewelry will also steal your identity. If you have a wallet left out or bills containing baking information, then they’ll grab those on the way by.
Unless the goal of the break-in is to steal your identity, then they’ll just grab anything that looks interesting as they go. This does mean that if you have a fireproof safe that contains documents like your mortgage, car loans, or birth certificates these will be a target.
Many people have the safe solely for fire protection and don’t try to hide it or secure it in any way. I suggest you look for a document safe that is fireproof and also mountable.
Burglar Secrets: Teaming
The last thing burglars don’t want you to know is that they can work in teams to distract you. While at your front door, you may be helping the distraught young lady who lost her dog, around the back, someone is grabbing your laptop and phone.
It’s not uncommon for someone to ring your doorbell while their partner sneaks around back to get your valuables. It can also work that one person distracts you, then the other uses overwhelming, surprising violence to subdue you. I’ll be doing an entire show on this topic soon, but I wanted you to realize that bad guys work in pairs or greater to rob your home.
Don’t underestimate what people are willing to do to take your stuff. Many of us fall into this false sense of security that our possessions are not valuable enough to take.
I’m here to tell you that people risk time in jail every day just to pawn an Xbox for 100 bucks.
What doesn’t make sense to us is a way of life for someone else. Don’t grow complacent, don’t think it will ever happen to you. Home security is about vigilant defense even on the days when you think nothing happens.
For more on home security check out this article I contributed to on Porch.com where I answer an important question about making your home a hard target for a burglar.