Maybe it’s happened to a friend of yours, maybe you’ve seen it on the news or maybe it’s happened to you personally — a break-in that just didn’t make sense. The intruder was sloppy or took lower-priced items and left the valuable things behind.
Not all burglaries make sense because not all burglars are the manipulative, scheming individuals we think they are. Burglars are just people; some are intelligent and patient, while some are dumb and impulsive. No matter what, you need to be prepared for every kind.
We’re here to help! Learn about the various burglar personalities and how you can prevent them from breaking in.
1. The Con Artist
The con artist will find a way to gain your trust before he robs your home. You will meet the con artist at least once, if not several times before he robs you. He may pretend to work for the city and say he needs to check your property for damaged phone wires. The con artist may claim to be a part of some company seeking a class action lawsuit – a lawsuit you could reap benefits from – and he may ask you a lot of questions about your life. The con artist depends on you to be gullible and trusting, so don’t fall for it!
If anyone you do not know shows up at your door, you should always ask them plenty of questions before answering theirs. If the person gives answers that don’t add up or won’t provide the information you request, close the door on them.
2. The Opportunist
This person hangs around neighborhoods looking for a time when a house is vulnerable. This could be when you’re moving, when you’re distracted by the commotion of your movers and you leave garage doors open while you load up the trucks. This could be when you’re throwing a party, unaware of exactly who goes in and out of your home. Activate motion sensor alarms around the perimeter of your property when you’re moving, so you’re aware of anyone who walks nearby. If there are a lot of people entering your home, assign someone the duty of greeting each guest who enters the front door—you and your family members can take turns. Set up surveillance cameras around your property so that if something does go missing, you can identify the thief.
3. The Reckless
The reckless burglar is someone desperate for money—more desperate for money than they are afraid of being caught. This person won’t mind breaking a window or a lock to get into your home. It’s especially important to activate motion sensor alarms around your home if you want to deter the reckless burglar because, once they reach your door or window, they won’t be afraid to force their way in.
4. The Observer
The observer prowls your neighborhood, learning your habits. He finds out when you go to work, when your dog sitter stops by, where you hide your spare key, in which room you keep your valuables and more. The best way to deter these burglars is by having an active neighborhood watch. Everyone in your neighborhood should be on the lookout for suspicious characters who do not live there. You should all agree to approach strangers and ask them what they’re doing there—this type of interrogation will usually spook this type of burglar away.
5. The Young Hooligan
Young hooligans are usually just trying to prove something to their friends—they are typically teenagers or young adults who are homeless or poor. They don’t necessarily aim for valuable items they can sell, but rather enjoy grabbing whatever they can get their hands on. Because they don’t want the break-in to be difficult, they don’t spend time studying and they won’t risk breaking a window. Hooligans look for easy in’s, like a doggy door or an open garage. Use your home-automated security system to activate alarms on all your doors and windows. Your system should warn you if you’ve left anything open or unlocked.
Sadly, locking doors won’t matter if a burglar is willing to smash a window, and hiding your valuables is no good if burglars are willing to snatch a small item. Be prepared for every type of burglar – the more ready you are, the less likely they are to succeed.