They say that when fighting a war, you have to know who you are fighting against. You have to know the enemy so you know just where to hit them and how to beat them. Property crimes such as home burglaries are among the wars of the civilized society.
Crime statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that there were an estimated 1.73 million cases of burglaries in the recent year. That is still almost 5,000 homes getting burglarized everyday or nearly 200 homes every hour. There is much work to be done.
And it starts by getting to know the enemy better. What are the characteristics of burglars? Are these home robbers professionals or amateurs? What is their weapon of choice? Do they only attack at night? What are their motivations? What scares them off, if any?
Modern burglars do not like being talked about obviously. Note the emphasis on modern because burglars have also evolved with techniques and technology. They don’t like their processes to be a matter of public knowledge. But in the interest of home security and safety of families, here’s a burglar overview—11 facts about modern burglars they don’t want you to know.
Average and Amateur
While most Hollywood movies would portray a burglar as a masked robber with the most sophisticated tools, the truth is that most modern burglars are average and amateur males, some in their teens. They are normally in their mid-twenties and each had one or two run-ins with the law.
They Need Cash
What do burglars look for when they gain access to a home? The needs and concerns of a typical burglar are immediate, not something to fund their college education. The needs of a burglar is very basic and they need money or something that they can easily exchange for money–like jewelries that modern burglars scour for at home.
Watching You Closely
It pays to know your neighbors really well. You might be surprised one of them is working behind your back. Studies show that the typical modern burglar lives within two miles of their victims, and may even know the victims personally. They watch their targets closely—what time they leave the house, what time they arrive, and their daily routine. This is a reminder to always be careful of the people you let inside the house. For all you know, he could already be creating a map of your home in his head.
Some Have Jobs, Too
Don’t feel sorry for burglars and don’t make excuses for them. Most of them are very able to work, and some of them actually have regular jobs. In fact, some of them may have already entered your home and offered a service. Be wary of people who deliver packages and make sure the cable guy or repairman who fixes things inside the house are from a reputable company.
Through The Front Door
The typical home robber is not a rocket scientist. He’s not a genius who will spend much time figuring out how to enter a home from the roof or even underground. He enters through the front door, and even knocks to see if anyone’s home. Thirty percent of the time, they gain access through an unlocked door. This shows just how many homeowners carelessly invite burglars into their homes without anti-burglar alarm supplies that they can easily purchase. Windows, back door, and garage door are also common entry points.
Show Starts Early
Our most common profile of a home burglar is one that creeps in the night. Their favorite time of the day is when the sun is high, between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is the time when everyone is out—parents are at work and children are in school. This is most convenient for burglars because everyone seems unsuspecting and busy running errands and going through their day.
Toolbox is Fairly Simple
Their set of tools is not sophisticated. Some of them just kick the doors open and hope for the best. But in forced entries, there are three tools that come always come in handy: a screwdriver, a crowbar, and a hammer.
Afraid of Alarms
For homeowners who are still convinced that those home alarm systems are nothing but another overrated home accessory, think again. Convicted burglars themselves admit that when a home has a burglar alarm, they are most likely to move on and target another property.
A study commissioned by the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation found that about 60% of burglars admit that the presence of home burglar alarm systems would cause them to seek another target. And 80% of the respondents also said they determine whether a house has an alarm system before attempting a burglary. So take it from the burglars: homes with security alarms are safer.
Fast and Furious
If they can’t do it quickly enough, they leave. That’s one of the common denominators of home burglars. The average burglar does not see beauty in difficulty. Burglars aim to enter a home in 60 seconds or less. Deadbolt locks, sturdy doors, and/or metals bars on the door would likely change his mind. A typical burglar spends between 8 and 10 minutes rummaging through the house and then he’s gone. An extra minute feels like an eternity to a burglar so a valuable home security tip for all homeowners is to make life difficult for them.
They are Tech-Savvy
Never underestimate burglars. They don’t live under a rock. They have social media accounts too, and can target their victims from there. They don’t use a traditional map to locate you, they use Google Earth.
Unarmed and Non-Confrontational
Aside from simple break-in tools, most burglars do not have weapons or firearms. More than half of them are virtually unarmed and commit non-violent invasions. They are not a fan of confrontations and would like to walk away as quietly as possible.
But would you rely on thinking that these burglars would not harm you at all? It’s still safe to secure your home. You can easily use Google tips to learn a few practical ways to avoid break-ins or contact your reliable alarm system stores. After all, nobody wants burglars anywhere near their homes. That’s why it is equally important to know if you run into a potential one. There is no cookie-cutter description for all burglars but having some statistically-backed profile to work with is a good start.