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Does a Burglar See Your Home as an Opportunity?

Career criminals are rational, decision-making businesspeople. Even the novice criminal goes through a rational thought process when choosing a property to burglarize. Most burglars know exactly where the cash and valuables are kept.

According to studies of residential burglaries conducted by Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, most burglars plan their intrusions based on a calculated decision-making process, even though the burglar may believe he or she is acting at random.

There are predictable signals that attract burglars to specific homes. What are they? A prime target is often a recent home buyer (information easily gotten from the local newspaper’s real estate transfer notices), who lives in close proximity to a major thoroughfare, on a corner lot, in a middle-income neighborhood, in an older home with an attached garage.

One of the primary factors burglars plan in detail is how quickly they can gain entry and then escape. Homes on corner lots allow burglars to park on side streets where neighbors are less likely to notice. Homes near a busy thoroughfare are chosen so the criminal can easily put distance between himself and the crime scene.

Another primary factor burglars consider in their criminal-plan is the potential payoff. As much as we’d all like to believe we are uniquely individual, an experienced burglar can estimate how much he or she will be able to carry away from a given property.

More than 50 percent of burglarized homes are within three blocks of a major thoroughfare. And, 50 percent of burglaries are committed against homeowners who have lived in their homes less than five years. And, of that 50 percent, 32 percent had lived in their homes less than one year.

If the details of this statistical profile seem to fit your life, then you need to be especially vigilant about arming your system whenever you are away from home – and, making certain there aren’t any unprotected access points that a burglar could capitalize on.

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