Nobody wants their home burglarized, but virtually anyone is vulnerable to a residential burglary. The question is: Is your home security up to par or does it have room for improvement? We stumbled across an article by KTVB News, where its team asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes and their answers were fascinating.
The article started out asking readers if they ever wondered if their home security system or “Beware of Dog” sign actually keeps burglars away. So, KGW’s investigative team mailed letters to 86 inmates who were in the Oregon Department of Corrections for burglary. In the letters, inmates were asked to anonymously answer 17 questions that detailed how they broke in when they broke in, and what they were searching for during the break-ins.
The Inmates’ Responses
According to the inmates’ responses, most of them broke in through a window or an unlocked door, while several burglars kicked a door open. “I would kick in the door rather than break glass. Loud bangs are better than loud glass breaking, plus you run the risk of getting cut,” said one of the inmates.
Once inside the home, the first things inmates looked to steal were jewelry, electronics, cash and credit cards. One burglar said that if there was an NRA sticker on the car bumper it meant there were lots of guns to steal.
Where did the inmates look for hidden valuables? Most of them searched the master bedroom first, then they moved through the rest of the house. “Everywhere! From the stove and freezer, to the fish tank and toilet tank, bookshelves and in boxes of cereal,” said one inmate. So, hiding cash in the freezer may not be so safe!
Here are some important inmate responses to consider:
- Generally, burglars prefer to break in between 12:30 and 2:30 PM, when everyone is gone.
- Home security signs don’t always faze burglars since some of them know how to disable them or avoid setting them off.
- Big, loud dogs are huge deterrents, while smaller dogs did not bother burglars. One inmate said that dogs are a deal-breaker for him.
- Each inmate who responded said they would knock on the front door before breaking in a home. If someone answered, they would make up a lie and say they were looking for a friend, responding to an add on Craigslist, or if the resident had seen their dog – things like that.
What Can Homeowners Do to Avoid a Burglary?
One of the survey questions was about what homeowners could do to avoid being burglarized, and the burglars suggested making their properties visible with good lighting, trimmed bushes, and trees. They also said it’s smart to get to know your neighbors and contact the police if you notice anything that’s suspicious.