If you’re reading this, chances are you have assets to protect. You wouldn’t dream of intruding another person’s home and couldn’t imagine a scenario wherein you would. To begin your quest in protecting your belongings, you likely go to sources like trustworthy homeowners to see what they do. This is a good idea – but there is another angle to remember.
In honor of our 20th anniversary, we are thinking a little differently – by looking through the eyes of the offender. People who are willing to break into another person’s property don’t tend to think the same way as those who have property to defend.
Here’s a sneak peak into the thoughts of an intruder to make it easier to protect yourself, your belongings, and your family:
“Is anyone home?”
Thieves more often than not merely wish to abscond with your things – not your life. A quick rummage for a few of your valuable items can be enough for them to make it for a while, with minimal risk of getting caught. It naturally follows that it is simpler if you aren’t at home. One way they can check? A simple knock on the door. If someone answers, they can simply make up an excuse, such as pretending they are lost or in need of charity.
If you don’t answer, they likely investigate a little bit further. Taking a peak in the windows, listening for voices or a television, even popping over the fence to see if anyone is outside are a few ways they can double check.
“What’s the easiest way for me to get in?”
Intruders are not often trying to cause a scene – this may result in suspicion and ultimately, getting caught. A search around the premises is regularly quick and hasty, with the goal of getting out of plain sight and into the home as fast as possible.
Windows, doors, even pet entrances are ways of checking how to get in. In fact, a reported 3 out of 10 times intruders check to see if the door is unlocked – and it is. They can simply walk right in and rummage away.
“Will I get noticed?”
Again, the goal is to avoid capture. Highly trafficked areas with busy walk and roadways are less than ideal for burglars. Rather, dark and lifeless neighborhoods are preferable for easy access and minimal risk. Even better, if a property is decoratively landscaped with bushes and trees provide adequate hiding places in the event a passerby does happen to arrive.
“Do they have an alarm system?”
Alarm systems are a terrifying thing for intruders. Given the heightened risk of eventual capture, alarm systems are one of the constant worries for someone sneaking in your home. Equipment like video cameras, spot lights and keypads are cues to thieves that the home may be protected and it’s not the safest bet for get away. Even a lawn sign or decal sticker can be enough to deter a potential intruder, and cause enough alarm for the would-be thief to back off.
By thinking like a thief and knowing the signs and methods they are looking for, it’s easier to come up with means of defense. Keeping a TV or radio station on for short trips can foster the illusion that someone is home. Locking the door even if you’re chatting with a neighbor down the road. And of course, alarm systems are sophisticated and proven ways to prevent theft in the first place and maximize eventual capture.