In a city like Sacramento, with a high property crime rate, it’s easy to feel powerless about protecting your home and family. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to encourage burglars to pass your house by.
A knowledgeable locksmith will be able to help you make a home security plan and choose the security technology that fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle.
When you’re talking about safety though, it pays to do everything you can, and you can’t be too cautious. Arming yourself with knowledge about how burglars think and work is a vital part of foiling them.
There’s no such thing as a burglary of passion, and the best thieves are far from the impulsive type. A successful burglary requires plenty of planning and preliminary work. Burglars generally don’t go into an area looking to rob a particular house.
Instead, they’ll choose a neighborhood and scope it out, often dressed as landscaping workers or cable repairmen.
They’ll check out which houses are particularly vulnerable and the safest targets, looking for particular signs and signals that they use to determine which property promises the lowest risk and the highest reward.
Luckily, there are ways you can turn this process to your own advantage. If you know how burglars evaluate houses then you know how to make yours especially unappealing to them!
Obviously, the first requirement of a burglar is an unattended house. They have all sorts of ways of trying to suss out who’s around. Thefts are highest during the summer months and most burglaries take place during the workweek, between the hours of 8am and 3pm, but many thieves go even further to ensure they won’t be breaking into a house full of people.
Piles of mail and newspapers are a dead give-away that you’re away, as is a driveway full of unblemished snow.
Some criminals will seed a neighborhood with flyers or take-out menus and then check back a few days later to see which houses still have them on the front stoop. While they’re at it, they’ll check the garbage and recycling for the boxes from expensive electronics like TVs and computers that signal there are things inside worth stealing.
The practiced burglar will use any number of tricks to learn your routine. Canny criminals have gotten ahold of subscriber lists for local organizations like ballet and opera companies, which are basically a neatly sorted list of households with money that will likely be empty at predictable times!
That isn’t to say you should give up your theater tickets, but you might not want to be too public about the fact that you have them.
Burglars are just like the rest of us in that they spend a lot of time on social media, only instead of sharing silly cat videos, they’re looking for people talking about their vacation plans or checking into locations far from home.
Certain physical attributes can make a property more likely to be targeted for burglary. Thieves generally prefer free-standing single story homes in the middle of a block, but they certainly don’t limit themselves to those houses.
A criminal will generally want to do their work in private, so they’ll be looking for high privacy fences and shrubbery, anything that will obscure them from easy spotting by neighbors and passers-by.
Basement and cellar doors are ideal for them because they’re often tucked away, more-or-less out of sight and thus out of mind when people are planning their home security.
Since a guy walking around with a ladder can draw attention and suspicion, they’re alert for garbage cans or other objects piled next to a building that can provide them with the boost they need to get through a window.
When they’re finally ready to strike, burglars will take some final precautionary measures.
They’ll always start by knocking on your door, claiming to have the wrong address, be taking a survey or offering yard work if you answer.
They’ll check for the sound of a radio or the flickering light of a television, signs that the house is occupied.
If they don’t find them and you don’t answer their knock, they’ll give your doors a try; if you’ve forgotten to lock them then you’ve made their job almost too easy!
Criminals spend a lot of time thinking and planning how to break into your home. If you spend even half as much time working out how to stop them, they’ll just as soon pass you by.
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