Have you ever heard crime experts talk about getting into the minds of criminals? The idea is this: learning to think like a criminal makes it easier to understand what they do and why they do it. It is a good strategy for preventing burglary. Try thinking like a burglar. If you can put yourself in his shoes, you can probably think of ways to keep him away from your house.
Vivint Smart Home recently published a post talking about mastering burglary prevention. Although their post gave quite a bit of attention to home security systems and surveillance equipment, the very first section addressed the topic at the center of this post: understanding burglar behavior.
Vivint more or less described what I have discussed in my opening paragraph. They described thinking like a burglar to get a better handle on how to stop a burglary from ever occurring. With that in mind, let us talk about some of the things that burglars consider when choosing their targets.
Routines and Schedules
Believe it or not, burglars pay attention to routines and schedules. They keep an eye on neighborhoods to get a better understanding of when people come and go. To them, prime time for burglary is when target houses are least likely to be occupied. If that is the same time a particular neighborhood is most quiet, bonus.
What does this suggest? Forcing a burglar to question whether a house is occupied can be just enough to make him reconsider. If he doesn’t know whether you are home, he has to rethink his plans.
Ease of Access
Burglars want to get in and out as quickly as possible. To facilitate that, they look for easy entry. First floor windows and doors are high on the list of preferences. So much so that experienced burglars often wander through neighborhoods looking for unlocked doors. They will just try a handle and see what happens.
Now you know why experts recommend keeping windows and doors locked at all times – even when you are home. Making access as difficult as possible forces burglars to work harder. They do not want hard work. They want easy access.
Burglars also pay attention to local cover. They appreciate homes with plenty of landscaping features preventing a clear view from the street. Those who work at night appreciate homes with little to no exterior lighting.
Your best defense in this respect is to not give burglars cover. Make sure your home is visible from the street. Make sure you have appropriate lighting as well. Motion sensitive lighting is your best bet for preventing burglary while also saving energy.
Burglars pay attention to security features as a matter of self-preservation. They do not want to get caught. So they look for video cameras. They look for home security company placards and window decals. If they see anything that suggests a monitored home security system in play, they have reason to choose another target.
Things to Steal
Finally, burglars pay attention to what a property looks like. They may peek in the front window or take a look in the garage to see if there is anything worth stealing. That is why companies like Vivint recommend keeping the garage door closed and first floor blinds drawn.
Thinking like a burglar can help you understand why you might be targeted. Then you can take steps to keep burglars away. On the other hand, ignoring it all under the misconception that bad things never happen in your neighborhood only increases the chances that you will eventually be hit.