Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week,
cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or
delivering your new refrigerator.
Hey Thanks for letting me use the bathroom when
I was working in your yard last week. While I was there,
I unlatched the back window to make my return a little
Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste . . .
and taste means there are nice things inside.
Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me
wonder what type of gaming system they have.
Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the
driveway.. And I might leave a pizza flyer on your front
door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor
to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin
drifts in the driveway area are a dead giveaway.
If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let
your alarm company install the control pad where I can
see if it's set. That makes it too easy.
A good security company alarms the window over the sink.
And the windows on the second floor, which often access the
master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put
motion detectors up there too.
It's raining, and you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you
forget to lock your door- understandable. But understand this:
I don't take a day off because of bad weather.
I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions
Some where or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me
up on it)
Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I
always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the
medicine cabinet. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go
into kid's rooms.
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. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of
town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and
simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at
8 More things a burglar won't tell you. From Reader's Digest:
1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn
guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors
(NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH MEMBERS).
3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise.
If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll 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.
4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money
for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
5. 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 blinds, just to pick my targets.
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's
easier than you think to look up your address.
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day
is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally,
I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
Sources: Convicted burglars in
crimedoctor.com; and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor
at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105
burglars for his book.