Blake Fire and Security Systems

How Do Burglars Choose A House To Break Into? Top 5 Tactics!

Date: 16 November 2023

It's terrifying coming back to a ransacked house after a night out. But what if, rather than a spur of the moment, one-off crime, it was something way more sinister...

In this post, we will explore some of the most common burglary tactics, to help you become familiar with the way professional burglars think. This knowledge will help you protect your home and family, so your house is never on the bad guy's EASY TARGET list!

Why and how do burglars choose a house to raid?

Burglar choosing a house

Seasoned professionals with a lot of break-ins under their belt understand the value of staking out a property before making a move. This way, with the pros and cons to hand, they can figure out the best time to strike!

In contrast, amateurs are more likely to act on impulse, draw attention and leave evidence.

But, before they decide when to strike, how do burglars choose a house to target in the first place?< As mentioned earlier, law-abiding citizens can protect their family and home by understanding how that choice is made...

Get a taste in the video below and scroll down to dive deeper into each burglary tactic!

1. Leaving a mark on or around your house

Burglars have been known to 'mark' houses of interest as a reminder to themselves and as a signal to accomplices.

This could be a graffiti symbol, a small dot of paint or a piece of string tied to your fence.

Lanarkshire Police shared a post revealing burglar graffiti codes for "goods worth stealing", "vulnerable occupant", "been burgled before" and "too risky".

If an intruder doesn't know the area well but identifies your home as an easy target, a physical marking is the perfect way to find his way back in the dark...

Leaving a mark is a professional burglar's tactic and eliminates the hard work for the amateur crooks who are familiar with the code!

If you see any suspicious markings outside your home, call the non-emergency police line and report it. You never know... someone else in the neighbourhood could have reported the same thing!

2. Burglars have been monitoring your property

Burglars know that most properties will be empty from 8am-6pm - these are the most common working hours. They can also safely assume that your neighbours will also be out.

This is the perfect time to strike!

An experienced thief may walk past your home at the same time every day for a week to determine whether your daily absence is a recurring pattern - just to be safe.

The amateur may take the opportunity to strike while it's in front of him.

The only way to deter intruders from targeting your home while you're at work is by investing in a home security system, including a burglar alarm and CCTV cameras.

The last thing he wants is to set the alarm off and get his face caught on camera - he'll cross your house off the hit-list and continue his search for an easier target.

Home Security Quiz How safe is your home

3. They notice something worth stealing through the window

In most cases, burglars are after quick cash.

If you leave your curtains or blinds open during the day, you're essentially allowing criminals to make a checklist of your valuables. This is especially important to remember in October when the nights are drawing in and your internal lights may be on, showing off the contents of your front room even more clearly.

A quick glance through the lounge window could reveal:

  • An iPad on the coffee table
  • Wireless sound system on the mantle piece
  • Games console connected to the TV

The novice burglar might not be able to control his urge and smash through the window to get his hands on the goodies. Whilst the Pro is drawn to the easy pickings that are in arm's reach of the back door to reduce the risk of being caught.

Your home will become a desirable target if you openly advertise your valuables. Shut the curtains and blinds when you are out to prevent unwanted visitors from peering in.

4. They spot obvious flaws in your home security system

Old rusty alarm boxes. Self-installed CCTV cameras. Broken security lighting...

All of the above are tell-tale signs that you do not take home security seriously and, therefore, your home is an easy target.

Seasoned burglars can quickly identify which home security systems are nothing more than out-dated decorations... and which ones will cause a ruckus if tested.

Neglecting a maintenance contract and letting your equipment decay, as well as attempting a shoddy DIY installation could both have the opposite effect than intended - and contribute to a break in!

ALWAYS contact an accredited company, like Blake's, to install and maintain your home security equipment.

Home Security Quiz How safe is your home

5. They've burgled you before and you haven't upgraded your security!

Do burglars come back? Yes, they do!

More than one in six burglary victims had been burgled three times or more and 65% of those in the same property!

It's not uncommon for a burglary victim to be targeted AGAIN by the same burglar! If he was able to break in without being caught the first time, he can surely do it again.

If you have been burgled before - and have not made improvements to your home security - your home is at greater risk!

He already knows the weak points, exit and entry routes, the floor plan and is smart enough to wait until the items he stole have been replaced with even more expensive and modern equipment!

Take action to beat the burglars before it's too late

Moving into a family home, making beautiful memories and living a safe and happy life is something the vast majority of people strive for.

Experiencing a break-in and suffering the traumatic consequences shatters that dream.

Click the button below to take our home security quiz. It takes a couple of minutes to do and it's free.

You'll find out how safe your home really is.

Home Security Quiz How safe is your home

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This blog post is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. Call Blake's on 01702 447800 to speak to one of our professionals for specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site.

Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up to date.

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