Career criminals are rational, decision-making businesspeople. Even the novice criminal goes through a rational thought process when choosing a property to burglarize. Most burglars know exactly where the cash and valuables are kept in your home.
According to studies of residential burglaries conducted by Temple University in Philadelphia, most burglars plan their intrusions based on a calculated decision-making process, even though the burglar may believe he or she is acting at random.
There are predictable signals that attract burglars to specific homes. What are they? A prime target is often a recent home buyer (information easily gotten from the local newspaper’s real estate transfer notice), who lives in close proximity to a major street, on a corner lot, in a middle-income neighborhood, in an older home with an attached garage.
One of the primary factors burglars plan in detail is how quickly they can gain entry and then escape. Homes on corner lots allow burglars to park on side streets where neighbors are less likely to notice. Homes near a busy street are chosen so the criminal can easily put distance between himself and the crime scene.
Another primary factor burglars consider in their criminal plan is the potential payoff. As much as we would all like to believe we are uniquely individual, an experienced burglar can estimate how much he or she will be able to carry away from a given property.
Here are some statistics:
• More than 50% of burglarized homes are within three blocks of major streets.
• 50% of burglaries are committed against owners who have lived in their home less than 5 years.
• 32% of the 50%; the victims had lived in their homes less than one year.
If the details of this statistical profile seem to fit your life, then you need to be especially vigilant about arming your security system whenever you are away from home. Furthermore, make sure that there are not any unprotected access points that a burglar could capitalize on.
Here are 5 additional tips for you:
1. Always lock your doors and windows
2. Place a security sign in your windows or your yard, even if you do not have an alarm
3. Avoid obvious signs of absence ( leave lights, radio or TV on; hold mail; stop newspaper delivery)
4. Avoid posting vacation plans on Facebook, Twitter or Linked-in until after your vacation
5. Avoid placing high ticket item cartons in trash