Last month I posted a video with a former burglar who talked about how he decided what houses to enter and how he did his burglaries. Recently, NBC broadcast a video with another burglar giving similar information and advice.
The former burglar reaffirms some things that police have said for many years:
· Many people keep their doors and windows unlocked. Be sure to lock your doors and windows when you leave home. And that can also mean when you in the back-yard gardening. Locking your doors is probably the best deterrent against a burglar.
· Indicators that no one is home include mail in your mailbox and no car in the driveway. So, be sure to pick up your mail daily or use a locking mailbox. Newspapers piling up in front of your house is also a good indicator of no one at home. Also, especially when you are on a trip, have a neighbor park a vehicle in your driveway.
· Residential burglars work during the day. This former burglar said that he worked between 8:00am and 2:00pm. This timeframe is when he thought most people would not be home. Burglars do not want to encounter anyone while they enter a house. A person coming home is a burglar’s worst nightmare.
· Neighborhood Watch signs work. Nosy neighbors are an excellent deterrent to burglars.
· Barking dogs are a good deterrent.
He pointed out some things that he said do not work:
· He ignores security alarms and cameras. Burglars are usually in a house for only a few minutes (single digits) at most. It can take police longer to arrive at the scene. With cameras, a burglar can cover his face to help police from identifying him.
· He also ignores lights on timers. Having lights on around your house, especially where you park your car, are best at night to deter car prowlers.
Just because this one burglar says he ignores alarms and cameras does not mean that you should not have them. Crime prevention professionals make many recommendations. No one recommendation by itself will save you from a burglary. You should use a variety of techniques to protect yourself. For example, an alarm that sounds outside your house can alert a neighbor, who stays at home, who can investigate and then call 911 and/or you about what is going on. Cameras have a deterrent effect on some burglars. But it may not be 100 percent. After all we have seen many videos of package thieves taking packages from front porches lately. Yes, they can cover their faces, but the video can help police understand who broke into your house.
Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. Get into the habit of locking your doors. Consider an alarm system and cameras. Cooperate with your neighbors in a Neighborhood Watch.