The most common home burglary modus operandi goes like this: once a house is targeted, the burglar will park a car around the block and walk over. They will go right up to the front door and ring the doorbell. If someone comes to the door, they will pretend to be selling something or have a story that they are looking for a different house. If there is no answer, they head around to the back of the house, seeking a way in without attracting too much attention.
First they will try to force open the back door. They won’t bother to pick the lock because they know they can gain entry quickly with cruder methods. While burglars would prefer to work in darkness, they don’t want to confront anyone, and generally choose to operate during the day when the house is more likely to be unoccupied. They don’t care if the alarm goes off because they know that the neighbors won’t pay attention and the police won’t arrive for a little while. The get in and get out in less than eight minutes. They go straight for the master bedroom, looking for jewelry and money. If they find a gun, a laptop, or something else of high value along the way, they’ll grab it.
This time, we are not going to give you the same old burglar proofing tips about putting timers on lights, keeping shrubs trimmed back from windows and installing deadbolts. Instead, we will give you some little-known yet highly effective strategies you can employ to reduce your chances of being the victim of a home burglary.
Instant dog kit – burglars hate dogs (big or small, it doesn’t matter). If you already have a dog, great. Now get one of those beware of dog signs. Get one even if you don’t have a dog. For added realism, put a dog bowl and chain out by the back door; that really works well.
Get a real security camera – not a fake one like they sell in catalogs. Criminals aren’t fooled by the fakes. If you don’t want to spend the money on a full video system, just mount a real camera but don’t hook it up to a monitoring or recording system.
Don’t advertise – these days, burglars mainly want cash, laptops, guns and jewelry. They want stuff that’s small, valuable, and easy to sell. So, if you buy a new flatscreen TV, be discreet. Pull into your garage to unload it and don’t put the box out by the curb.
Decoy box – if you have a jewelry box on your dresser, keep all of your inexpensive jewelry in it and put your valuable jewelry in a plain box, or better yet, in a safe.
If you suspect you’ve been burglarized, don’t investigate the crime scene by yourself. Call the pros. That’s what we are paid to do. If you see a door or window ajar, go to a neighbor’s house or call 9-1-1 from your cell phone. While most home burglars are cowards and will take pains to avoid a confrontation, some are armed and dangerous. Remember, your stuff can be replaced, but you can’t!