Despite the United States and many countries worldwide experiencing a constantly declining property crime rate, burglary is as ever a crime that can cause everyone worry. It can be a terrifying concept to think about your household being burglarized, but unfortunately, it is an omnipresent threat when you become a homeowner. However, it does not have to be a constant fear if you know what to look for.
Property Crime, Burglary, and Surveillance
Despite the United States and many countries worldwide experiencing a constantly declining property crime rate, burglary is as ever a crime that can cause everyone worry. It can be a terrifying concept to think about your household being burglarized, but unfortunately, it is an omnipresent threat when you become a homeowner. However, it does not have to be a constant fear if you know what to look for. A1 Security Cameras has installed security camera systems and sold surveillance products for years, gaining a wealth of knowledge when it comes to deterring property crime. In our experience, there are four crucial points a person can gain understanding in when it comes to their home and burglary:
- What to look for
- When to prepare
- How to act
- How to react
Why is this important? Because when each point is answered, you gain a wealth of knowledge that allows you to form a plan and implement a course of action. That is why for this post, A1 Security Cameras will provide you with the understanding you need about burglary, what to look for, when to prepare, how to act, and finally, how to react. We have gathered statistics, consulted professional sources, and have condensed it down into this document for your convenience. With this knowledge, and hopefully our security camera systems, we hope that you will enjoy a lifetime of safety and security!
What are the statistics behind burglary?
Simply put, the statistics are not kind when it comes to burglary, but they do grant us a clear picture to understand with. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation:
- 65% of burglaries are residential
- 65.1% knew the victim personally
- only 12% of burglaries are premeditated
Unfortunately, this does not paint a pretty picture, but it does grant us something to work with. As further detailed by information released by the FBI for 2020, the majority of burglarers committed the crime within a short driving distance or a few miles of their own homes and made a snap decision when deciding to do so. Whereas this might seem grim, let’s factor in statistics according to Security.org:
- Proximity to police stations deters 64% of burglars
- Indications of an alarm deter 53% of burglars
- Outdoor cameras deter 50% of burglars
Also listed were outdoor lighting, neighborhood watch, strong doors, and the placement of security signs, but each only garnering a much lesser percentage than the three listed. However, what is not listed is dogs' effect on people considering burglary and home invasion. In the majority of studies and accounts reviewed, large breed dogs with loud barks effectively deter most people that contemplate burglary. It should be noted that in such studies, homeowners also benefit from keeping more than one dog.
To summarize all of that, most burglaries are done in residential areas by individuals that know the victim and live within a short distance. Likewise, we also know burglars will be persuaded against the crime when a home is near a police station while featuring an alarm, cameras, and one or more dogs. As referenced in a past post about outdoor security cameras, security cameras and these measures do not outright stop a crime (aside from the police department). Still, they do effectively deter the majority of those looking to commit crime at your expense.
How can you tell if a house is being targeted?
Now that you have a little more information about the people that commit burglaries and how to prevent them, we will move on to what you should be aware of in your environment. Whether your home is on a ranch, farm, or in a neighborhood, there are distinct yet common signs that someone is looking to cause trouble. These include:
Door-to-door attempts: Burglars will sometimes come to the door acting as a salesman, representative as a religious organization, handyman, or another position they can feign to be up close. This tactic is threefold, to check if the home is regularly occupied, to figure out a person’s schedule, and to get a closer look. Sometimes when in this position, the offender will be observant for a key, dog, security system, or anything that would weigh their consideration in either direction. It should be noted that video doorbells have had a substantial effect against this tactic.
Drop off documents: In this case, drop off documents can mean three possible routes for a burglar. The first is if a homeowner allows mail to stack up on the front porch and if they do not, the second is observing when do they pick it up. The third is similar to door-to-door attempts, leaving flyers on the front door and both getting a personal view of the entrance while later seeing if the document was removed. As will also be referenced later, the best ways to thwart this are to ask a neighbor to pick up your visible packages, plan out when you receive mail, schedule packages for when you are home, and keep your front door devoid of clutter.
House marking: Sometimes, marking a house is leaving a flyer on the front door. Other times, it is a nefarious person leaving a physical mark at an entrance or pathway. Homeowners can benefit from simply walking around their property and observing its appearance. If something seems strange, take pictures, and report it.
New cars irregularly parked or touring: If you are home and observant, this is one of the most obvious tells someone is casing. Often nefarious parties or individuals will cruise through a neighborhood at alternating times to check the foot traffic, when the cars are in the driveway, and gain a better understanding of each potential target’s schedule.
Other houses targeted: One of the most common signs a burglar is casing your home is that there have been reported burglaries in the area around you. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about such aside from staying vigilant and reporting legitimate signs of strange behavior.
Strangers doing strange things: This can include people going door to door, but it can also include people that make requests to come inside and those you might not notice at all. The former are typically people requesting to use the bathroom, get water, or something similar to get a better look inside. The latter, those you may not notice, might be briefly taking pictures from the sidewalk or exploring the property through the back without you knowing.
Each of these methods can be considered as “casing,” which means a nefarious party is preparing to target a home. When such things are noticed, the immediate response should not be an aggressive confrontation but rather be relaxed and methodical. As we will cover next, there are various measures you can take to further deter a possible burglar.
How to react when seeing possible signs?
The first thing to remember at this stage is it is best to assume no one has done anything wrong yet. It is another story if, for example, a person is caught trespassing or attempting to break-in. Still, walking or driving through the neighborhood is not necessarily a sure sign of nefarious intentions. Rather, it is an excellent time to be subtle and restrained. Actions that can be taken place at this point include:
- Cleaning the front port, regularly
- Installing or improving the security camera system with an alarm
- Requesting police periodically drive through the neighborhood
- Speaking with your neighbors
- Walking the dog
Some of these, like cleaning your front porch, walking your dog, and installing a security camera system with an alarm, should be viewed as common sense. Maybe not the last one, but we’re biased. However, many homeowners make the mistake of not building a repertoire with their neighbors nor the local police department. Doing so creates a level of trust within the community and makes taking action much easier.
What makes a house attractive to burglars?
Aside from a cluttered doorstep, there are a few telltale signs burglars are attracted to. According to Reisinger Insurance and police officers questioned by A1 Security Cameras, such signs include:
- Easy access
- Indications you’re away
- Low security
- Valuables entering the home
- What the homeowner wears
Whereas it is true that most burglaries are a snap decision and are to some degree personal, that does not mean they are devoid of reason. If someone that is prone to committing property crime sees the opportunity to make an easy score, it should be assumed that they will. Thus, it is essential to take the aforementioned measures and have security measures put in place.
What are the odds of getting robbed?
According to FBI statistics, 1.1 million burglaries occurred in 2019, with one in every thirty-six homes getting robbed as of 2021. At present, around 3,000 burglaries are estimated to happen every day in America alone. However, the chances of being burglarized, as mentioned, drop significantly when a homeowner takes the necessary precautions listed above, going so far as to reduce the possibility of burglary by over 300%.
What do burglars use to mark houses?
- Chalk or sharpy markings
How do you identify a burglar?
Statistically, the most common burglars are men below the age of twenty-five that are either desperate or bored. However, identifying a burglar in a crowd of people is impossible and can only be done when they provide critical indicators of their intention. While burglars will also be outside of that description, they typically will:
- Be familiar with the victim
- Find weaknesses around the property
- Gain an understanding of schedules
- Look for valuables
When it comes to those you are not familiar with, people who intend to burglarize a home typically take every opportunity to be in the area. As mentioned, driving around, walking in the area, paying attention to the details of each house, and will even come up to the door. While a burglar cannot be considered one until the crime is committed, knowing what to watch out for will grant you an edge.
At what time do most burglaries occur?
Most burglaries happen between 10 AM and 3 PM, typically lasting between eight to ten minutes. The reasoning behind this is clear, burglars will take advantage of the regular work schedule.
However, whether you live with others or not, this is why the mentioned security measures are essential. Security camera systems can be outfitted with video surveillance software that can alert you when someone approaches your property and allow you to call the police as the crime takes place. Whether integrated with surveillance or not, an alarm is also an effective tool to ward off intruders. Combined with the commotion a dog makes, neighbors are likely to notice when your home is being burglarized and contact the police, especially when you have a good relationship with both.
Do burglars break-in at night?
Yes, burglars have been known to break in at night. While most do not occur during that time due to any given house having a higher chance of being populated, there is a significant percentage of burglars that do so due to the cover the nighttime darkness brings and the lack of traffic moving through the roads. However, a practical tool homeowners can implement when it comes to surveillance is infrared. Common in most security cameras, like our IP cameras, this ability allows night vision and can help spot a potential intruder.
How do most burglars break into homes?
Burglars will always look for the most accessible entrance to use, opting for one that will already be open or easily broken through. The latter is particularly true, with TheZebra.com reporting that 95% of recorded break-ins were forced entry. An effective measure when combined with home automation for either method of entry is the use of detectors at each door. These devices will provide you with an indication of when a door or entrance has been disturbed or used. They also easily integrate with home security camera systems and alarms for an added edge to capability.
CaWhich room do burglars typically search first?
As shown, there are statistics behind how likely a house is to get burglarized and when, the same also applies to where a burglar will enter and how long he or she will remain. According to TheZebra.com, Reolink, and police offers questions by A1 Security Cameras, these statistics include:
- 34% enter through the front door
- 23% enter through the first-floor window
- 22% enter through the back door
- 9% enter through the garage
- 4% enter through an unlocked entrance
- 2% attempt entry through the second floor
Police officers questioned also raised two points when it comes to burglaries. The first is always to lock each entrance and double-check that they are secure. At the same time, homeowners should make sure to both hide and protect major devices to their security systems. Such devices include video recorders and central monitoring stations. Hiding can consist of placing obstacles in front of the devices and keeping them in a locked room, but security camera recorders, in particular, can be kept in an armored box or drawer with the appropriate circulation.
What are burglars most afraid of?
To summarize the measures mentioned above and to really highlight the best a person can do, burglars are deterred by:
- Proximity to police stations discourages 64% of burglars
- Indications of an alarm deter 53% of burglars
- Outdoor cameras deter 50% of burglars
- Big breed dogs with loud barks
- Effective lighting
However, as has been highlighted throughout this post, one of the most effective deterrents of burglary is being observant and building a community. Neighborhoods, where residents practice regular communication, are quicker to act and deal with burglars. Furthermore, police departments with a favorable relationship with a neighborhood are more willing to extend resources to the area.
Do cameras deter burglars?
As referenced above and in the advantages and disadvantages of security cameras, security cameras are quite effective in deterring property crime of all kinds. According to the FBI, 85% of all crime was property crime in 2019, with every year before and after being similar to the majority. Furthermore, studies done by Rutgers institute have found that areas with higher numbers of security cameras reduce all crime by a significant percentage. As is answered by multiple studies, individuals looking to commit crime make it a point to avoid areas with heavy surveillance. It won’t hurt to encourage your fellow neighbors to do the same when you decide to implement security cameras onto your property!
Which houses do burglars avoid?
As can be determined by the list of factors above, burglars will avoid a household with security camera systems, alarms, dogs, secure entry points, and that is in a well-lit area near a police department. However, what is not mentioned is that most burglars typically steer clear of corner houses, especially those that border heavily wooded areas, swamps, or other challenging to traverse landscapes. This is due to them also featuring better lighting and can be near impossible to escape unseen from. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for houses in places like the middle of the neighborhood, where lighting is poorer.
How do you know if there's a burglar in your house?
Unfortunately, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out if your home is being burglarized, but there are signs you can be vigilant for when coming home. Such signs include:
- Open doors
- Forced entry damage
- Strangers near your residence
- Unfamiliar cars parked in front
Often enough, when you have an already in place alarm system or dog, there will be a heavy amount of commotion coming from your household as well. If you have a good relationship with your neighbors or your alarm system is modern, a police car will be a new way of telling shortly.
How do you scare burglars away?
Depending on your situation, you could take vastly different measures to protect your home. However, your safety and that of your family should be paramount. If someone is breaking into your home, and they know you are present, the best steps to take are:
- Place yourself in a secure location
- Call the authorities
- Activate any measures available to you
- Protect yourself however possible
There are varying laws from state to state about self-defense in the United States alone. States like Texas, for example, feature the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws, which gives a person the right to defend themselves on their own property against intruders. In addition, however, states like Maine and New York have Duty to Retreat laws, which make protecting yourself the final resort you may take even in your own property. However, A1 Security Cameras cannot legally provide further advice further than what is general.
When it comes to knowing someone is burglarizing your home as you get there, the best course of action is to notify the authorities and find a safe location to wait. According to police officers questioned, it would not be advisable to confront the burglar in any way. However, if you can safely take pictures of license plates, it can help. If in the case you do not have a security camera system.
Do burglars strike twice?
According to Reolink, one out of every three burglarized houses will experience the same offense a second time. A1 Security Cameras suggests that homeowners invest in a security camera system, alarm, and effective locks in the event of a burglary. Such measures are fantastic at convincing criminals that you are serious about your household security.
Why would someone break in but not take anything?
Unfortunately, there are two reasons that such an instance would occur. Either it is psychological or was an attempt at your security apparatus. It is both an attack on you and what you have for the former. In such cases, taking active measures against the burglar might seem like a challenge but should be done after filing a report with the appropriate authorities. The second, an attack on your security apparatus, uses a flash drive or gains access to your electronics to implement longer-lasting damage. If such an instance were to occur, it is recommended that a thorough examination be made of your recorders, computers, and anything else that processes information. On the bright side, criminals typically get caught when committing to this physically and not cybernetically if this is to occur.
Do burglars ever get caught?
Unfortunately, property crimes can be difficult to solve if you do not have effective measures in place. According to the FBI and multiple other sources, only 13% of criminals that commit the act are caught. However, with A1 Security Cameras and our system design tool, you will have a much better chance of avoiding burglaries in the first place, thanks to a security camera system that matches your specific needs. In such a process open to customers worldwide, our team works with you to plan out the exact products you will need based on the information you give, where they will go, and how they will be installed. With our team, you will quickly enjoy a safer home when you take advantage of our services!
For any of our products and services, contact A1 Security Cameras. We have a massive catalog of recorders, security cameras, access control, turnstiles, and more. Reach out to us by phone, email, request, or chat bubble today!