Editor’s Note: Securing your home means more than just locking the doors. Burglars like an easy target and they look for tell-tale signs that your home is open for business.
Here is the confession of a burglar:
I spent a year and a half in prison after being convicted of multiple residential burglaries (I was caught after a mailman called 911 after seeing me go through a window). I had a pretty good run of burglaries from 2007-2008 and haven’t done any in seven years, so technology and times have changed since my spree…
Here’s how I picked my houses:
- I would generally only go in the daytime during the week. The idea was for the adults to be at work and the kids at school.
- I would try to find a corner house because it would have, at least, one side with no neighbors.
- I went in middle-class neighborhoods close to a community college. I live in a large U.S. city and needed an excuse to be in my late 20s walking around with a backpack. I would stand out too much in wealthy neighborhoods and poorer neighborhoods often have bars on windows because they expect to be robbed. Middle-class people seem to be careless. I often went in through an unlocked back door… interestingly enough, I never went through a front door. I would always go to the back or side because any fences would provide coverage.
- People think a large dog would be a good deterrent, but I generally avoided those annoying small yapping dogs that never shut up.
- I often went through a bedroom window – whether it was unlocked or not. I’m committing a major felony. I didn’t care about a broken window.
- I usually went straight to the master bedroom because that’s where the good stuff was.
Things a homeowner can do, besides armed guards around the clock:
Get a dog that doesn’t like strangers. I don’t care if it’s big or small or threatening or friendly… as soon as one dog barks, the whole neighborhood starts barking and announcing a burglar’s presence.
Cameras – inside and out. I knew a guy who was caught because he walked by someone’s webcam inside their house and ended up on the news. Make the cameras visible. If I see a camera, I’m not just moving on to the next house, but I’m going several streets away.
Lock back fence and restrict access to backyard. That’s generally where I broke into the house from.
“Beware of dog” and security alarm signs and stickers are completely worthless. I once broke into a house through a doggy door. There was no dog home.
Try not to have any stools or anything in the backyard. They make climbing through windows easier.
I don’t steal anymore at all but I used to a lot.
- Alarm signs are the biggest deterrent.
- I am going in through your front door. I am NOT going to check windows or creep into your backyard or any sketchy shit like that. The neighbors calling the cops is really the only danger.
- I dress nicely in a collared shirt and slacks. I am white and clean cut. Fairly good looking. A bit like a police officer.
- I look for houses with the LEAST viewpoints from the neighbors. Having an open front porch is your best defense.
- Park in your garage. Parking in front of the garage is a telltale that there is likely no other car moving in and out of the garage and the driver is likely at work. I can tell because of the discoloration.
- Pick up your newspapers.
- Stop your mail and newspaper if you are leaving town.
- If I pop the door and an alarm goes off I will probably leave.
- Make friends with your neighbors so they know who should be at your house.
- Going in and someone being home is TERRIFYING. I don’t want to hurt anybody and I certainly don’t want to get shot. Also the risk for getting caught just went from 3 years to 25. I will run screaming from the frailest old lady.
Again this isn’t me anymore but perhaps it gives you some insight. Stay safe.
- I see some guys in here saying to have a robust door. I have never been stopped by a door. It is very easy to kick a door and I would carry a flat bar. A solid core door with heavily reinforced framing might work. Spend big if you want this to be a viable defense.
- No, I wouldn’t want to hurt your dog, but yes I would have if it attacked me. If you have an eight-foot-tall fire-breathing dog, then yes it’s probably a good deterrent. Make sure your dog’s fire breathing is on point because none of us want your dog to get hurt.
Yes, if you put a lot of effort into security it will deter thieves.
Or, if you want to do things the smart way, using little resources, and making your home literally impenetrable, then you need to watch this video and learn 10 fast tips about protecting your home in time of war or social chaos.
If you liked this article or if learned something from it, please share it with your friends. Let’s warn as many people as possible.
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