What Do Burglars Look for in a House?

Your home and family’s safety is a major priority, and one scenario you want to protect them from is burglary. Yet, your idea of a home burglary is likely extremely different than the real trends out there.

The image in your head of an easy target probably looks like a house with open windows and unlocked doors, and the burglar in this scenario might be wearing a dark mask in the dead of night. However, modern-day thieves approach houses much differently.

When you’re trying to fortify your home, it can help to think like a burglar and anticipate their actions. What draws them to one neighborhood over another, and why do they walk up one driveway and not the next? Let’s cover how burglars pick a house and what that means for your security measures.


How Often Does a Home Burglary Occur?

You might be asking, “Am I really at risk for a home burglary?” Whether you have expensive paintings hanging on your walls and pricey gems in your jewelry box or not, thieves could search for valuables at your residence. In the U.S., it’s estimated that there were 7,694,086 property crimes in 2017, which includes burglary and theft.

Home thefts happen frequently, and the most recent data from the FBI’s Crime Clock shows burglaries happened about every 22.6 seconds. This indicates that you need to take serious actions to maintain safety and monitor your place.

Burglary attempts happen to everyday homes even more often than businesses. In all burglary offenses during 2017, 67.2% were residential property burglaries. Because burglaries are frequent, it’s critical to take the correct steps to ward off break-ins.


What Attracts Burglars to Homes?

Before breaking into a home, burglars have to come up with an effective plan. They case an area and look for particular features in houses. To find out if your place is an easy target for burglars, check out the three main categories of what burglars look for.

1. Easy Access

Plotting a break-in begins with finding entry and exit spots. Often, burglars don’t have to break glass or door frames to come in. Doors and windows with vulnerable locks are a common access point for burglars. If loosening or bypassing them is simple, then it makes getting inside easy. Garage doors and pet doors are both open passages where burglars can get through quickly, too.

Quick departure is another plus for burglars. For instance, houses along a highway or adjacent to the interstate provide a speedy escape.

2. Indications You’re Away

Usually, burglars avoid running into homeowners during the job. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics on household burglary victimization, no members of the household were present during approximately 72 percent of burglaries. They watch for signs that your home isn’t occupied.

Another misconception about burglary crimes is that most of them happen at night. Surprisingly, of the 2017 residential burglaries, 476,123 happened during the day while only 286,338 occurred at night. A significant reason for this is because burglars expect people to leave for work, errands or school.

3. Low Security and Visibility

Despite the high number of daytime break-ins, many criminals opt for the low visibility of night. They can also look for houses that are difficult to see from the road, so no one catches them in the act.

Minimal security is also a perk for burglars, and they can scope out security sensors, cameras and equipment. They can move on to a house that isn’t equipped with advanced safeguards to speed their job along.

What Items Do Burglars Look for in a Home?

Burglars don’t usually break int