To protect your home you need to know about the five most common burglars. It might be a man dressed in black wearing a balaclava climbing through a window. Or it could be a highly trained cold-blooded criminal with malicious intent. Read on for a list of 5 most common burglar types and how you can protect your home from each.
1. The Delinquent
This is the most common type of burglar you will encounter, the young delinquent that has nothing to lose. Typically a high-school drop out aged 15-25 years old, with substance abuse problems and a history of violence.
The delinquent is motivated by poverty, boredom or peer pressure. They look for an easy mark to prove their worth or increase their status amongst their peers. They will generally avoid hard to reach places or affluent areas as they don’t have many skills as a burglar. When looking to steal they will aim for one “trophy” item they can show off to their peers.
Open doors, windows and back doors are this burglar’s dream. They wouldn’t break down a door or pick a lock but will easily climb into a house with an open window. These types are not very skilled and generally wouldn’t go through the trouble of concealing their identity or covering up evidence. They can be easily caught or turned away with the right measures.
To protect your home against the delinquent, check your doors and windows on your way out, make sure your valuables are out of sight and secure. In other words, make your house seem like too much trouble. Take it a step further by investing in home security cameras and monitor your home remotely, chances are you’ve seen this person around the neighbourhood.
2. The Opportunist
In some ways similar to the delinquent but with more experience and skill. These burglars have a few years experience and often a lock picking set under their belt. Just like the delinquent they will take advantage of unlocked doors and windows but will go the extra mile to steal something of value.
The defining trait of these burglars is their mindset and motivation. The opportunist will not scout out your house or pre-meditate the crime but will decide to rob you in the moment if it looks worthwhile. Unlike the delinquent, they are not out to prove their worth but to make some quick cash. They will likely grab several things of value that sell well on the black market, not necessarily the most expensive.
To protect your home against the opportunist always make sure to lock your doors, windows and any other possible entrances. Hide all valuables (especially electronic devices) out of plain sight of open windows. Investing in a deadbolt can go a long way, as is motion triggered lights and an IP camera. You never know when you might need evidence!
3. The Smasher
This is the more aggressive but equally impulsive type. They will not hesitate to break down a door or window if they have a hunch that something valuable lays inside. Due to the amount of noise and commotion a forced entry can attract, they try to spend the least amount of time in a house as possible, resulting in a lot of damage to the property. These criminals can sometimes come off as comical because they will steal something of low value but don’t be fooled, they will take anything they can get their hands on.
These criminals often rely on income generated from stealing items to support their drug habits or gambling addictions. Unlike the other two types, their approach can be spontaneous or pre-meditated. Seeing the owner drive off in a nice car can set the smasher onto your house. A lot of the time these robberies happen during broad daylight as loud noises at night attract more attention.
To protect your home against the smasher is difficult. These criminals are harder to protect from than most others as they are not opposed to using force. With this type, the strength of your locks and windows is a serious concern. If you want to re-enforce your house invest in some good quality deadbolt locks and install bars on your windows.
4. The Prowler
Possibly the most experienced and dangerous burglar you will encounter. These are seasoned criminals that have started as opportunists and worked their way up. These types will search neighbourhoods, looking for a good “mark”. Once found, they will scout out their “mark” for days, studying schedules, planning entry points, investigating security systems and getting the layout of the house. They likely know how to pick locks, disable security systems and force entry without alerting the neighbours.
These types are usually well connected with a trusted “fence” to sell their stolen goods. Depending on the skills required, these types may take “steal on demand” jobs to gather unique artefacts for their “clients”. This criminal will do almost anything to not get caught and often bypass the suspicion of others by disguising themselves as tradespeople or police.
To protect your home against the prowler you need to be vigilant. No ordinary security system or lock will keep this burglar out. You may have already invited one into your house disguised as a salesman or electrician. To prevent this criminal you need a plan of action. First on the list is an IP camera that transmits and stores your footage in the cloud so the burglar cannot simply break the camera, along with the footage of them on it. Check out our Cammy to receive a notification when one of these burglars tries to invade your home.
Regular maintenance of your yard is important to ensure there are no easy hiding places. Motion activated lights and alarms are also a great way to deter these criminals. Also, remember to stay vigilant, if you see suspicious activity or are concerned contact your local police station or call CrimeStoppers.
5. The Professional
The most prepared and skilled burglars around. Not only are these types more skilled than the prowler, they often have top of the line equipment for breaking into vaults and high-end security systems. These robberies are carefully pre-meditated and may involve several people.
These types do not engage in petty theft and only go after very valuable items. The good news is, most of these attacks happen on commercial properties such as banks, museums and warehouses. The chance of an ordinary home being targeted by this type is extremely low.
To protect your home against the professional you need to invest in a good security system. Wealthy estates with expensive art, jewellery and technology should look into getting a sophisticated home security system with alarms and an option to call the Police.
Whatever your household income, there are ways you can secure your home without breaking the bank. Strong locks and bars on ground floor windows are good investments. We might be biased but Cammy is a great way to a) deter the burglar from entering and b) capture footage of the burglar for evidence c) take action instantly.
Want to know more about burglars? Check out our infographic.
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