For some of us, holiday time means vacations, long weekends, being out of town visiting relatives.  It can also mean easy pickings for burglars (unfortunately).  We know you have good homeowner’s insurance but even that isn’t  going to protect your house and your belongs from determined bad guys.  A television station in Portland, Oregon, queried some burglars as to how they did it and what they took.  Being fore-warned is being fore-armed!  Stay safe! 

1. How did you break in?  “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 did you take first?  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 valuables?  “Everywhere!  From the stove and freezer, to the fish tank and toilet tank, book shelves and in boxes of cereal,” said an inmate. In addition to the master bedroom. 

4. What time of day did you prefer to break in?  “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 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 you knock on the door before breaking in? Yes. All of the inmates who responded said they would knock on the front door before breaking in. 

7. What if someone answered the door?  “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.” 

8. What if the home alarm goes off?  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. 

9. Did lights on in the house 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 closed,” wrote one inmate.  

0. What if there is a car 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.  

11. What was the ideal target?  Burglars don’t want to be seen. They looked for homes with big fences and  overgrown trees or bushes. “Homes 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 - nice car = person with money.” 

12. If you did surveillance what did you look for?  “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. 

13. What is the one thing that homeowners can do to avoid a burglary? Burglars suggest homeowners make their property visible with good lighting and trimmed bushes and trees. You should get to know your neighbors and alert police if you see anything suspicious. “Get a  camera and make it visible!” wrote another. “Put bars on your windows and doors, get an alarm, keep an extra car in the driveway, keep lights, TVs and radios on when you leave your home,” read one questionnaire. “Home alarm, know your neighbor so they can report suspicious people around the neighborhood,” 

Thank you for visiting our blog and reading our latest tips on being a better Roseville Home Insurance or Rocklin Home Insurance consumer!