How does a Burglars Mind Work
There is no way to read a burglars mind but we can use information gained from interviews, witness statements, the damage left behind and reformed burglars to gain an insight and a general overview of their thought process. At the end of the day they are individuals who behave as such.
Burglars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and behave differently depending on what area they operate in. The recent Hatton Street break in showed a sophisticated approach to planning, logistics, equipment etc but regardless of tunneling through twenty foot of reinforced walls with thermal lances, they still broke into a premises to take away something of value. At the other end of the scale is the loner walking the streets looking for a “target” to break into, The Opportunist Burglar, (sometimes working in pairs to provide lookouts). The opportunist is the type that is the biggest problem to the normal residents in normal houses in normal streets. . You could easily pass them in the street and not give them a second glance.
If he feels a house is empty he will begin to work out how to get in. But he doesn't want to get caught so he will try and work out his escape route first should he be disturbed. Once inside its not unusual for them to put the chain on the front door or wedge something against it to stop the occupant from getting in. He wants to make sure he has a delay to be away out of the back door. There are so many “indicators” that would encourage a burglar to target a property that it would run to pages to try and cover them all but the most common ones will be covered later.
Confessions of a Burglar
Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway and I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters etc.
Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table and the medicine cabinet.
You're right, I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.
A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system.
Sometimes I carry a clipboard, I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
I will force a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbour hears one loud sound he will stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.
I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like.
I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the curtains, just to pick my targets.
Leaving that window open just a crack during the day, to you is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.
If you don’t answer when I knock, I will try the door. Occasionally I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
Home Security and Crime Prevention Advice