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  • Andy Murphy

How to Attract a Thief

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Thousands of people in America come home to find their house ransacked in a burglary every week. Most of them wonder how this could happen to them. After all, most Americans are peace loving, law-abiding citizens who wish no ill will on anyone. But yet good people are victimized every day.

I know it’s not fair. But there are some things that we do, yes us, that can make our home more appealing to bad guys. Here are a few things that we accidentally do that can make our homes an easy target for criminals.

Social Media

We all like to go on vacation. It’s a time to cut loose, relax and see things we’ve never seen before. I know, I just got back from a week-long vacation. But where a vacation can go wrong is when we share our location on social media.

Consider this, you live in Utah. Your family takes a trip to San Francisco. You get to see the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time, so you snap a photo and share it on Twitter. Your intention was to share your excitement but in reality you’ve just told people you’re not home. And when you’re not home there is no one to protect your house. Your house just became a viable target for a thief.

Unlocked Doors

Believe it or not in the year 2018 many caught burglars say they gained access to a home because a door was unlocked. We don’t live in 1950’s Mayberry anymore. Those days have unfortunately passed us by.

We have to start locking our doors at night, during the day, when we are gone and when we are home. Your exterior doors need to be locked unless you are using it. Also, close your garage door because thieves can do a multitude of harm that way too.

Home Security: The Secure Dad's Guide | The Secure Dad

Empty Home

Most of us leave our home in the mornings and go to work. When we do that, we leave our homes empty. It’s just the way things are. If a thief can verify that you are not home, then the likelihood of your home being attacked may increase.

Many crooks use a time tested method of determining if you are home. They simply walk up to the front door, ring the doorbell and wait to see if anyone answers the door. If someone answers the door, they make up an excuse that they are at the wrong home. If no one answers then the door gets kicked in. I believe I thwarted such an attempt at my home once.

There are two things you can do to combat this problem. The first is relatively simple. Park a car in your driveway. A surprising amount (at least to me) of thieves say they don’t approach a home with a car in the driveway because they believe someone is home.

Also you can add a smart doorbell to your home like the Ring 2. This device acts as a doorbell, video surveillance camera and two-way communication. If someone rings the bell your smartphone is alerted giving you a picture of who is standing at your door. You can also talk to the person through the app, giving them the illusion that you are home. If nothing else it lets them know their picture has been taken.

Don’t Advertise Your Stuff

Don’t make it easier for a thief to choose your home by telling them what’s inside. Your garage door needs to be shut so your tools aren’t targeted. The nice 60’ flat screen TV shouldn’t be visible from the street. And don’t keep your MacBook open next to the window so anyone can see it. Oh and don’t advertise that your kids either. If your daughter a high school cheerleader, don’t put a yard sign up with her picture on it. No, I’m serious this actually happened.

No Alarm System

I fully suggest that everyone have a monitored alarm system. If a bad guy kicks in your backdoor and an ear-splitting siren shreeks, then chances are he’ll run out before he can be seen.

If the same guy kicks in the door and there is nothing but silence, then he’s got more time to search your master bedroom for jewelry, electronics and firearms. Then a quick trip to the medicine cabinet to grab any prescriptions and then he snatches your laptop at the kitchen table on the way out. Easy peasey.

These are just a few things bad guys can do to target your home. For more ways to keep your home safe, consider my new book, Home Security: The Secure Dad’s Guide. It’s full of valuable information that you can use to see your home as a burglar would see it and then learn how to keep him out.

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Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.


Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

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