Welcome to this burglary and home invasion tutorial …with information and prevention tips from bad guys.
It’s another tutorial designed for
- Crime writers
- Crime researchers, and
- Curious worrywarts (includes almost all of us).
Please scroll down and find something right down your alley, esp if you’re in one of the above three camps.
Most of us cringe at the idea of someone coming into our homes while we’re away. And downright terrified if this happens while we’re home. Even worse, if we are awakened in the middle of the night and realize a stranger’s in our house, we envision being paralyzed with fear .
This is why you crime writers may want to write about these nightmare situations many of us dread. For sure, if your crime writing is of the thriller sort, then you’re likely to find the info below just as useful as Hollywood scriptwriters.
Interestingly, the idea of a stranger or strangers entering a home without force is a common plot device in suspense storytelling. Currently, Shari Lapen’s book , A Stranger in the House, and Darren Aronofsky’s mother! which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home.
Home invasions…where an attacker or attackers invade a home in order to rob and/or injure the occupents…are comparatively rare.
The scenario put forth by home defense advocates claim that the invasions are “multiple armed invaders”, and state that they number between three and five in number. I have yet to see data to support that.
If someone has multiple home invaders, all armed, there is a very real possibility that individual is a drug dealer. The invaders are out to get their drugs or money. We saw this with the rash of violence that plagued the southwest some years back. It was rival gangs committing violence against rival gangs…and families were often targeted.
Living in a poor neighborhood increases the odds for such an attack. While there are instances of the affluent getting attacked, this is rare. That’s why the Petit family killings attracted such attention. They were, however, an anomaly.
Not every state has a legal definition for home invasion. The concept is relatively new, even though the crime may not be.
Fortunately, unlike in books and the movies, most burglars are looking to steal your belongings, not harm you.
What is a burglary?
It is the unlawful entry of someone’s home. It usually involves some type of force. The person has the intent to commit a crime (whether he does or not). The legal occupant of the home may or may not be present.
What is the difference between burglary and robbery?
Burglary and robbery both involve a property. They both also describe some type of theft. Robbery occurs in a home while you are present. The criminal usually uses some type of force or threat. Burglary occurs when you are not home. The criminal unlawfully enters your home with the intent to steal something.Here’s a sampling of recent stats re crime and burglary.
A snapshot of the latest burglary stats.
- Nationwide, there were an estimated 7,694,086 property crimes. The estimated numbers for two of the three property crimes showed declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates. Burglaries dropped 7.6 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 2.2 percent, but motor vehicle thefts rose 0.8 percent.
- Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses estimated at $15.3 billion in 2017.
- Of the property crime offenses, the arrest rate for burglary was 61.7 per 100,000 inhabitants. (for 2017)
The First FBI Crime Report Issued Under Trump Is Missing A Ton Of …
CDE :: Explorer – Crime Data Explorer
Curious worrywarts (includes about all of us).
1. How did you typically break into a home or apartment?
Most inmates broke in through an unlocked door or window. Several burglars kicked the door open.
“I would kick in the door rather than break glass. Loud bangs are better than loud glass breaking, plus you run the risk of getting cut,” said one inmate.
2. Once inside, what was the first thing you looked to steal?
Jewelry, electronics, cash and credit cards are all attractive to burglars. Inmates also added collectibles and guns.
“NRA sticker on car bumper = Lots of guns to steal,” wrote one burglar.
3. Where did you look for hidden valuables?
Most burglars started by searching the master bedroom for valuables, then moved through the rest of the house.
“Everywhere! From the stove and freezer, to the fish tank and toilet tank, book shelves and in boxes of cereal,” said an inmate.
Burglars prefer breaking in early morning or afternoon.
“Between 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Anyone that was home for lunch should be gone by then and most kids should all still be in school,” wrote a convicted burglar.
5. Did home protection or security signs posted outside the home deter you?
Burglars had mixed opinions about home security signs. Some burglars said it didn’t faze them. Others said they knew how to disable alarms or avoid setting them off.
6. Did pets in the home, like a dog, make you think twice?
If a homeowner had a big, loud dog most burglars would stay away. Smaller dogs don’t seem to bother them.
“Dogs are a deal breaker for me,” said one inmate. “Big breeds, home protectors are the best to keep people out.”
7. Did you typically knock on the front door before breaking into a home?
Yes. All of the inmates who responded said they would knock on the front door before breaking in.
8. If someone answered the door, what would you do or say?
“Act like I was lost or looking for a friend.”
“I would approach the resident as though they had posted an ad on Craigslist.”
“Say wrong house, sorry and thank you.”
“Ask if they’d seen my dog and leave.”
“Sometimes I would wear nice clothing and print a questionnaire off the Internet and carry a clipboard and see if they could spare a moment for an anonymous survey.”
9. If a home alarm system went off, what would you do?
Most intruders said they would leave immediately if a security alarm went off.
“I would try and turn it off or get the hell out of there,” said one burglar.
10. If there was a security camera visible, would it keep you from breaking in?
Generally, burglars agreed security cameras were a deterrent. But some said it also likely signaled there were valuables inside the home.
11. Did lights on in the home make you think twice?
Responses were mixed regarding lights on in a home. Some said it was a deterrent. But one burglar said the combination of lights on and blinds closed created an attractive location.
“Would drive through upper class neighborhoods looking for many things, like porch light on with all window blinds close,” wrote one inmate.
12. If you heard a radio or TV on inside the home, would you still break in?
Most burglars feared someone might be home if they heard a radio or TV. They wouldn’t break in.
“Absolutely not,” wrote a burglar.
13. Would it make a difference if there was a vehicle in the driveway?
As a homeowner, this is one of the best precautions you can take. Almost all of the burglars said they’d think twice if there was a car in the driveway.
“Most of the time that is a sure-fire sign of someone being home,” wrote an inmate.
14. What was you ideal target for a burglary?
Burglars don’t want to be seen. They looked for homes with big fences and overgrown trees or bushes.
“Home away from other homes, blind spots, older window frames, cheap wooden doors,” wrote a burglar.
“Large trees, bushes or shrubs around the home, or very reserved and conservative neighbors,” wrote another inmate.
“Nice home with nice car = A person with money,” another said.
15. Did you ever do surveillance on your target?
The responses were mixed. Some burglars did surveillance before a burglary, while others did not.
16. If you did surveillance, what were you trying to figure out?
Of those burglars who did surveillance, most agreed they were looking for the best opportunity to break-in.
“Who lives in the home, what are their weekday schedules (weekends are too unpredictable), what they drive, is there a dog, a hidden key,” wrote one inmate.
“What time the house would be empty and for how long,” wrote another.
17. What is the one thing homeowners can do to avoid being burglarized?
Burglars suggest homeowners make their property visible with good lighting and trimmed bushes and trees. You should get to know you neighbors and alert police if you see anything suspicious.
“Get a camera and make it visible!”
“Get an alarm, keep an extra car in the driveway, keep lights, TVs and radios on when you leave your home.”
What’s your favorite deterrent? Bear in mind, that typically, burglaries are exceptionally hard crimes to solve. Even if the burglar is found, you may not be reunited with your lost property even if you’ve marked it with your drivers’ license number.