Crime Prevention Month: Burglary Myths

The FBI reports that in 2013, there were an estimated 1,928,465 burglaries, a decrease of 8.6 percent when compared with 2012 data (this is the most up-to-date data). Additionally from the FBI, burglaries of residential properties accounted for 74.0 percent of all burglary offenses. The amount of burglaries may be decreasing but it’s still smart to know how to separate truth from myth when it comes to burglars.

For the most part, our ideas of a break-in came from Hollywood, video games or other creative outlets. We’ve pulled together some of the biggest burglary myths to help better educate homeowners, renters, etc. in keeping their home as safe as possible.

1). Time of day: Movies have shown us time and time again that burglar’s prowl in the darkest of nights but in reality that’s not true. Only 35% of break-ins actually occur at night and over 40% during the day! If you’re gone during the day, put on music or TV and turn on some lights so it seems like someone is home. If a burglar thinks someone is inside they will most likely move on.

2) Method of entry: Majority of people believe burglars enter through a window but it’s actually doors that are a more common point of entry, especially when they’re unlocked. It’s incredibly important to remember to lock your windows and doors at night and for added safety, call your local Sonitrol Pacific to get a free security assessment for your home.

3) Hottest items to steal: Yes electronics are big ticket items among burglars but they’re also interested in smaller, easier to carry items like credit cards and passports so they can steal your identity.  Jewelry is also another popular item among burglars.

4) Burglars aren’t smart people: Burglars will spend a considerable amount of time planning out their break-in, it generally isn’t a spur of the moment event. They can be very strategic and will map out their intrusion and getaway plan.

5) Burglars are always male: Once again in the movies, video games and elsewhere we find that 99.9% of the time the burglar is male. While it is more common for a man to be one, women can also be burglars. According to a study with the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, “Once women successfully gain access to residential burglary networks, they tend to adopt accomplishment strategies very similar to male counterparts and co-offenders.”