You come home to find your house broken into and most of your valuable personal items are gone. You probably don't appreciate why your home was targeted or how easy your house was to get into. Most people don't know how much effort is put into being a professional home burglar and how one excels at this career choice. Here is just a single day in the life of one of these entrepreneurs:
The Morning Shift
Like many jobs, it's important to get up early and prepare to see customers. After a few minutes of contemplation, this home burglar decides between the cable repair man or tree service uniform, then heads out the door. Early morning is a good time to watch for people leaving their homes for work.
No one notices the tree service guy as he walks through the neighborhood. First he looks for homes with high fences or shrubs that block the view of doors and windows from the street. He prefers to do his work secretively. He looks for toys left in the yard. Toys mean children and children mean a mother who likely has jewelry in the house. It's a bonus if it's trash day because he can check out the empty boxes left on the curb that mean there's a new big screen TV in the house.
Now he looks for indications that home security systems are in use. Signs posted in the yard or in windows means scratching that house off of the list. He looks for a dog house, dog food bowl and toys in the yard. A barking dog inside will draw attention to his activities so that house is off the list, too.
With a list of prospective homes in hand, it's time for our burglar to get to work.
Breaking In is Quick and Easy
Stealth is for movies as our burglar walks up and knocks on the front door. If someone answers, he'll hand them a tree service brochure, chat a bit then walk away. If no one answers, it's time to go to the back door that's hidden by the big bush and knock. If no one answers again, a quick look inside might show an alarm system on the wall and whether it has been activated or not.
Some people leave their house "just for a few minutes" to walk down to the corner coffee shop and don't bother to turn on the alarm or lock the door. With luck or burglar has hit one of those homes and can walk right on in. If not and the door is locked, a crowbar will pop open a door that has a simple lock. If the back door has windows in it to let light in, breaking a window makes it easy to reach in and unlock the deadbolt. A quick scan of the back of the house will also show if a window has been left partially open.
The goal is to get into the house in just a few seconds. Even with a hidden back door, it's best not to spend too long trying to break in. Neighbors could notice the noise or a movement. If not in quickly, it's on to the next house.
The Inside Work
Our burglar has a routine he follows so he can get in and out of the house in a few minutes. First he checks out all of the bedrooms. He looks on bedside tables, in all of the drawers and under the beds. Cheap jewelry boxes with no locks may still hold expensive jewelry and watches. He does a quick peek in the closets for expensive jackets.
The bathroom medicine cabinet may have narcotics that can be sold. The kitchen, dining room and living room can be the best bets because people often leave wallets, purses, checks, credit cards and money sitting out in plain sight. Bank statements and other financial papers may be useful to the burglar that does identify theft on the side.
In a few minutes, some of your most valuable possessions are in the hands of our burglar. He has several houses to hit in this neighborhood so he can't spend that much time in your home.
The professional home burglar does his research and knows something about human psychology. Now that you know something about his line of work, you can take measures to protect your home and personal items more effectively. To learn more, contact a company like Alarm Research Inc. with any questions you have.