ABC News reports that burglaries occur in more than eight thousand homes across the nation every single day. According to the FBI’s 2012 crime report, a home burglary occurs every 15 seconds. In 2012, the victims of burglary offenses lost nearly $5 billion in property.
Unfortunately, fewer than 15 percent of home burglars are ever arrested for their crimes. This means that six out of seven can remain active for years. Losing your belongings is bad enough, but then consider that many victims remain haunted by this incident. This kind of violation frequently leaves homeowners’ fearful that they could become victims all over again.
Common Techniques Burglars Use to Choose their Victims
Some of the ways that burglars choose their victims is surprising. Things that you never thought twice about could be putting you and your family at risk.
1. You have expensive toys lying around in the yard.
The expensive toys kids leave out in the yard may make a thief wonder about the gaming system they have.
2. Your home offers easy entry.
A window left open during the day makes entering your home easy. If you want to leave a window cracked, place something into the track above the window to prevent it from opening wide enough for someone to crawl through.
Thieves going door to door, generally knock first. When no one answers, the thief may try to open the door. If the door is unlocked, the burglar walks right in.
It is not unheard of for a repair person or other service personnel to come back later and help themselves to some of the items they complimented you on earlier in the week. Make it a habit to check all your windows and doors to make sure that they are all securely locked following every service call.
3. Your home has curb appeal.
Curb appeal may help you sell your home, but it can also make you a target. After cruising around your neighborhood, a thief will decide which home he believes will offer him the most lucrative haul. Therefore, the challenge you face is making your home appealing to look at, but difficult to burglarize.
4. What is in your garbage.
Yes, thieves will even use your garbage to determine if you are a good target. This is especially true following a holiday like Christmas. The boxes you throw away can let a thief know that you had a lucrative holiday. Those empty boxes from your new surround sound system and 50” LED high-definition television give it away.
You Have Little to No Control Over Some Things that Make you a Target
1. When a burglar scopes your neighborhood to look into windows.
Burglars will sometimes walk or drive through neighborhoods at night to look in the windows of homes. Many times, they are looking for flat screen televisions and game systems.
2. You live in a single story home.
Burglars do not like entering attics, going upstairs or into basements. The burglar fears that he will become trapped if the police or homeowner arrives. Additionally, many two-story homes have the master bedroom located on the second floor. The master bedroom is usually one of the main targets during a burglary. For these reasons, single story homes are a more desirable target.
3. You live in a townhome.
Many times, the sliding glass doors in townhomes are secured poorly and the back yards are enclosed. These characteristics make townhomes the perfect choice for a burglar.
Your Home’s Location Could be Putting you at Risk
1. Your home is located in the middle of the block.
Corner houses are more visible so thieves will avoid them and generally target homes located in the middle of the block.
2. You live on a Cul-de-sac.
Cul-de-sacs put you at a higher risk because the police patrol them less frequently and they are usually close to wooded areas. The wooded areas are the perfect place to hide.
There are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of you and your family becoming targets. Exterior lighting and home alarm systems can help keep you, your family and your belongings safe.