The stereotypical burglar is a man dressed all in black, with a mask like the Lone Ranger’s or Hamburglar’s.
However, the majority of home burglaries are committed by males in their mid- to late-teens. The most common time for a home to be burglarized is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when people are more likely to be at work. Burglars would rather not encounter someone in the home, and it usually takes only a few minutes for them to get in and out.
Once burglars have made it into a house, they typically head to the master bedroom to grab small and valuable items like jewelry, guns, and laptops. They will try to avoid attics and basements for fear of getting stuck if someone were to come home, making these two locations perfect for hiding valuables when you know you will not be home for an extended period of time.The Point of Entry
One of the most popular home invasion entry points is through a window. Windows are often left open or cracked on a nice breezy day or evening. It is not uncommon for someone to forget to lock their windows when they leave the house.
Over time, windows can begin to lose their structural integrity. From constant opening and closing and foundation shifts, window channels and stiles can warp. This causes resistance that often results in gaps between the lower sash and sill, preventing the window from closing and locking properly.It is also a good idea to remove or cut down thick shrubbery or plants in front of windows outside your home that could provide cover for someone attempting to break in. Flood lights with motion detectors are great tools for keeping scaring away criminals. Monitor Your Neighborhood
Always be aware of what’s going on in your neighborhood. Take mental notes of strange vehicles and unfamiliar people that seem odd or out of place. Many times burglars will stake out a house before attempting to enter it. They will often watch a house to learn the daily routines of its occupants so they can get in and out of their homes undetected.
Talk to your neighbors and keep up with the local news to see if they have seen anything suspicious. Let them know if you have plans to go out of town or if you will be out of the house for an extended period of time. See if they can pick up your mail and newspapers to give the illusion that someone is home. Your house is less likely to be targeted if criminals believe the house is occupied.Tips to prevent your home from being burglarized:
- Lock all windows and doors when going to bed or leaving the house.
- Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, e.g. strange vehicles or unknown people who seem out of place.
- Set your alarm.
- When out of town, be sure to hide your valuables in the attic or basement of your home.
- Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and newspapers when you are out of town.
- Leave a few lights and/or the television on while you are gone. The cost of electricity used will be far less than the cost of replacing stolen valuables.
- Equip the outside of your house with motion sensor flood lights.
- Try not to advertise what valuables you may have in your home by leaving the empty boxes to luxury goods and electronics out on the curb or in your trash can.
- Keep expensive items away from windows with a clear view from the alley or street.
- Get a dog. Burglars hate dogs. Even if you don’t have a dog, place a “beware of dog” sign on your fence gates.
- Call the police to report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Go with your gut.