Inside the Mind of A Burglar

When considering home security solutions for your residence, it would be helpful if you could read a potential burglar’s mind. While we don’t have mind reading technology, through research we can give you some insight on what has motivated convicted burglars.

A 2013 study undertaken by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte surveyed 400 convicted burglars  to see trends in the motivation and methods of burglars. From this research we can show you some of the ways you can help protect yourself from the most common burglary methods.

Planning Burglaries: This research found that 36.5% of burglars spent time studying potential targets before a burglary attempt. According to these results, just under 2/3 of burglars seemed to be choosing targets more spontaneously. They did use many factors to choose their targets whether they planned ahead of time or chose targets more spontaneously.

Targets: Burglars were wary of how many people were nearby, what escape routes were options and whether or not there was visible security, especially visible surveillance cameras and alarm systems. The survey found that most of those surveyed (83%) checked for alarm systems before any burglary attempts. Only 16% said they would attempt to disable an alarm system. It was clear that alarm systems statistically made a difference in whether or not to target a residence.

Entry Points: Very few burglars (about 1 in 8) picked locks or used acquired keys to enter the home;  most entered through doors/windows either because something was left open or because they forced one of the two open with a screwdriver, crowbar or hammer.

The Burglary: Offenders reported looking for cash, jewelry, illegal drugs and electronics, in that order, and intended to immediately get rid of the items they had stolen. Most of the burglaries they described took less than 10 minutes. About 60% of burglars attempted more than one burglary in a single day or night. The burglars surveyed were similarly likely to burglarize alone or with a partner.

FBI Crime statistics found that burglaries happened approximately once every 18 seconds in 2015. This study illuminates that there are ways that you and your community can work to make your homes less appealing, especially by adding an alarm system or video security. You can learn more about Guardian’s options for home security and automation, visit our website or contact us!

You can find a summary of the study here or read the full final report here.

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