Burglar Confessions: What You Can Learn From 400 Burglars

Burglar Confessions: What You Can Learn From 400 Burglars

What do 400 burglars have in common?

That was the subject of a US study that analysed interviews from over 400 career burglars to find common motives and habits.

You might be surprised to know that 58% of burglaries take place during the day, only 25% of thieves work alone and properties without a security are 2.7x more likely to be targeted.

To find out more, read on.


Who they are:

When you think of a burglar you may be inclined to think of a man dressed in black with a balaclava, peeking into your windows at night. Most of the time this is not the case. There are five common types of burglars you may find in your neighbourhood. To learn more read our article on 5 types of burglars who can access your home.

What they look for:

A university research team interviewed over 400 seasoned burglars that have been arrested anywhere from 1 to 100 times in the past. Here is what they look for:

79% CASH

What we can learn from this:

Money: Considering that 79% of burglars look for cash indicates that a large amount of people still hide sizeable amounts of it in their house. The best way to protect your money is by putting it in the bank and out of a burglar’s reach. However if this is not an option, read our 10 worst places to hide valuables before choosing your hiding place. Make sure it’s not on the list.

Jewellery: Jewellery may not be as easy to protect as your money so extra measures need to be taken here. Safety deposit boxes are the safest option but lack accessibility and can be quite pricey. Installing a safe that bolts into the floor of your house is a good alternative that has a sizeable out of pocket cost but can save you money in the long run.

Illegal Drugs: We’re not going to judge and say that having illegal drugs is right or wrong. If you really must have them, hide them well or get rid of them. They are not worth the trouble.

Electronics: We use these everyday and therefore it’s unrealistic to lock them during working hours. This means that more global home security solution is needed. We will explore this in more detail later in the post.

Prescription Drugs: These can be easily replaced, however they can be used to make unsafe illegal drugs. If you have the option, try not to keep large amounts of these at home and hide them where possible.


How they do it:

This is one of the most important questions to answer in order to avoid becoming a statistic. Lets start with the basics.

Do they plan it?

12% YES they plan the burglary
37% EITHER/OR depending on the situation
41% NO they did it “spur of the moment”

What this tells us:

Considering a shocking 41% of professional career burglars DON’T plan their attacks means they encounter something that proves an easy target. This could be an open window, an unlocked door or a shiny new laptop laying on the kitchen table. For us to fully understand the “how” we need to look at the most common entry points.

How they get into your home?

9% Said they got in through the garage
22% Used the back door
23% Climbed in through the first floor windows
34% Walked in through the front door

How we can stop this:

Garage: This is often an afterthought when it comes to home security and it’s the least common way burglars gain entry. Nonetheless, remember to lock it! This not only bars entry to your house, but protects your car and stored possessions.

Back door: This is an obvious but largely overlooked entry point, often left open for pets and air. Think twice before leaving this open, you don’t know who will take advantage of it.

First floor windows: The second most used entry point for burglars and one of the easiest to forget. It may be difficult and time consuming to close all the windows before you run off to work or you might be leaving them open deliberately for your pets. Unless you have bars on your windows, don’t leave them open! No only are you putting your possessions at risk but potentially your pet’s life too.

The most common way burglars get into you house is through the front door! This goes to show that the front door is the prime target for a burglar. Whether it’s a result of weak locks or forgetfulness is unclear. Placing a surveillance camera at your front door is the ideal solution. Not only does this discourage burglars, but allows you to catch the thief in the act! With Cammy you will get an instant notification if someone tries to break into your home.

How you can stop them:


Lock up: Make sure to lock your doors, windows and garage. Securing all entry points is a great way to make your house seem like too much trouble. If you have cash to spare, bars on the windows and dead bolts are a great investment. Burglars will be reluctant to break a window or door when there are easier houses to target.

Clean your yard: Remove excess grass and plants from your yard, especially near the windows. Burglars can use this as cover and go undetected for longer. Don’t leave tools or ladders in accessible places, this makes it easier to force entry.

Install a safe: This can be expensive but will secure your most prized and expensive possessions. Just make sure to get the kind that bolts into the floor, otherwise it could be carried away.

Motion sensor lights: Installing these is very effective at night as it draws attention to the house just as the burglar is trying to break in. There’s a more than likely chance your neighbours will notice and call the police.

Surveillance Cameras: Possibly the best way to protect your home is with surveillance cameras. Statistics indicate that burglars are 2.7x more likely to target homes without home security systems. This goes to show that not only does it work as a deterrent but gives you valuable footage to give the police. With Cammy you get instant intruder alerts when a burglar enters your property!

Not all burglars act the same, find how to protect yourself from these 5 types of burglars.

The statistics used in this article were gathered from Protect America.