Regardless of where you live, every home can be a target for thieves. While opportunistic burglars will grab cash and easy to hock items such as laptops, tablets and phones, a professional burglar will typically use more sophisticated tactics to target high end homes. Luxury items and jewellery are highly sought after by professional burglars with gold jewellery particularly appealing due to its high resale value.
Understanding the mind of a burglar and some of their common traits and habits, can ensure your home doesn’t become a target. There are a number of ways burglars can enter homes undetected and, depending on whether the thief is taking an impromptu risk or has been stealthily scoping out a property for weeks, burglars will generally target properties they can get in and out of swiftly.
Here we break down the mindsets of common burglars and provide valuable clues about how to stay one step ahead of them.
The opportunistic burglar
Two-thirds of break-ins are through open windows or doors, which is great news for the opportunistic burglar who simply wanders around properties checking for unlocked or partially open access points. They are also wary of homes with a visible security system, and may move straight on to a neighbouring property if one is detected. The opportunistic burglar is also easily spooked which is why it can be easy to deter them with simple security measures such as installing a sensor light, maintaining fences and gates, and ensuring the front door is easily seen from the street.
The professional burglar
Often with years of experience breaking into homes, professional burglars have a deep understanding for how security systems work and are the biggest threat to the security savvy homeowner. Professionals often scope out an area beforehand, even using google maps and Facebook to find out more about their chosen target. This is why it is vital that home owners are careful about what they share on social media sites and report any suspicious activity or strange loiterers in the area. Professional burglars are not deterred by alarm systems that simply go off without a response, and neighbours are also less likely to react as they often assume it is a false alarm. Professional thieves are more likely to take a calculated risk to quickly grab high value items with car keys becoming increasingly sought after. However, monitored security systems can be the downfall for professional burglars who may not be aware that an alarm has sent an alert back to a professionally monitored response centre.
The ‘crash and smash’ burglar
Using brute force as their primary tactic, ‘crash and smash’ burglars look for signs that the homeowner is away for a significant period of time, with tell-tale signs being uncollected mail or cars that haven’t moved in days. They’ll then knock down the front door or smash through glass to gain access to the home. The ‘crash and smash’ burglar may be deterred using a wireless monitored security system which sends a message to a nominated smart device as soon as a security breach is detected. Home owners can view camera vision from almost anywhere in the world and the entire system is backed by a 24/7 monitoring centre where a response team is on call to respond as instructed.
ADT Security’s top five security tips
1. Conduct an assessment of your home by walking around the property and thinking like a thief. Make sure you assess both inside and outside the home to identify vulnerable areas that can be fixed by installing a sensor light or fixing a gap in the fence.
2. Lock up! It’s the easiest way to prevent a burglary, and is the single biggest security oversight.
3. Avoid inadvertently creating hiding places for burglars by having overgrown bushes beneath windows – plants with thorns are a good deterrent.
4. Be aware of crime in your neighbourhood as burglars often revisit areas they know or have targeted previously
5. Don’t leave keys under pot plants, doormats or in the letterbox – adopt new interactive security solutions that can provide remote access to the home when required.