Home invasions may be more common in spring, WTAJ reports. Scam artists, in particular, take advantage of the balmy weather to pose as salesmen and saleswomen or to work in tandem with another criminal to steal items from your home. According to WTAJ, “They will work in pairs, and one will keep you busy while the other goes through your house looking for valuables and money.” Criminals may use the same tactic to case your home or to determine whether is it wise to come back to your home and commit a crime later.
Here are some other home invasion facts that may surprise you:
- Most home invasions occur during the day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a common misconception that burglaries occur primarily at night. In fact, the opposite is true. Many criminals prefer to work during the day when they know most homeowners will be at work.
- The majority of burglars will ring the doorbell. While this may be changing due to new technology, like Ring doorbells and video doorbells, it was common for burglars to ring the doorbell in the not-too-distant past. If they can see that you do not have a video doorbell or security camera, invaders may still employ this tactic. The idea is to find out whether you are home in a way that looks innocent and inconspicuous to passersby.
- Most burglars live nearby. Generally speaking, most thefts are about opportunity. Burglars tend to live nearby — within two miles or less — because they have the most opportunity to watch your house and learn when you will and will not be home. Those who live out-of-the-way risk being too obvious when they are casing or watching your home and neighbors’.
How do most home invasions occur? What attracts criminals to a particular house or particular houses? Find out the answers to these questions and more.
Invaders Target Homes With Faulty Hardware
Think that old wooden door and interior crooked windows are harmless? Think again.
While it’s true that everyone puts off maintenance around the house from time to time, noticeable weak spots make your home stand out — and not in a good way. Keep an eye out for these red flags and learn how to fix them:
- Wooden doors. Wood doors and old wood doors in particular are susceptible to wear. While modern wooden doors are more likely to be made up of composite materials and withstand the elements better, wood doors that are several years old may be made entirely from a solid block of wood — and that can be a problem. A solid, wood door may warp over the years. Warped doors may not sit properly on the frame. There may be large gaps and extra space where the door should be flush with the frame. These imperfections make it easier for burglars to break-in. A further word of caution: Even if your wooden door is especially sturdy and new, old habits die hard. Burglars may not be aware that new wooden doors are stronger, and they may be just as likely to target homes with wooden doors as they have been in the past. If possible, choose steel or metal doors instead.
- Unembellished locks. Locksmiths and law enforcement agree: the most reliable locks are deadbolt locks. If you have old, outdated locks without a secure deadbolt, burglars are more likely to target your home for a break-in. Remember to change the locks and change any codes for keyless or electronic entry points upon moving into a new home.
- Crooked windows and large gaps around windows. If your home has noticeable flaws, prospective criminals can and will note them. Burglars are more likely to attempt to break into homes with crooked interior windows or large gaps around the windows. The reason is simple. These defects make windows easier to force open.
- Sliding glass doors. Finally, sliding glass doors are not as sturdy as regular doors secured with deadbolts or chain locks. Homeowners open and close sliding doors more often, and they are more likely to forget to secure them. Further, the locks on sliding glass doors do not always catch, and homeowners fail to double-check them. Invest in a dowel or bar to place alongside the bottom track of your sliding glass door to ensure that it is safe and does not encourage forced entry.
How do most home invasions occur? Because most of them take place in the middle of the day, burglars will keep an eye out for any weaknesses or faulty hardware to make breaking in as inconspicuous as possible.
Burglars Are Attracted To Certain Items
The answer to ‘How do most home invasions occur?’ is pretty simple. Generally speaking, adult males 25 or younger will seize an opportunity to grab valuables in your home when no one is around. Most aren’t particularly well-planned, so keeping certain valuables out of sight may significantly reduce your chances of a break-in. What valuables are burglars looking for?
- Jewelry. How do most home invasions occur? There is a common trope that jewelry stores are frequently broken into. If your home looks like a jewelry store — if you keep large displays of jewelry in your master closet or bedroom mirror — that may very well attract burglars. Whenever possible, keep large amounts of jewelry or especially valuable jewelry out of sight.
- Electronics. During a break-in, thieves are most likely to grab smartphones, tablets, laptops, and any other electronics they can easily pick up and take with them. Of course, that does not mean they will not take bigger ticket items. They may be just as likely to take large items, like TVs and monitors, particularly if they are lightweight.
- Cash. More and more often these days, consumers prefer to use credit cards over cash. When it comes to protecting your home, that’s a good thing. While some burglars may take any credit cards they see, they’re rarely worth the hassle. Banks and law enforcement can track purchases on credit cards, and most banks and credit unions will preemptively cancel credit cards if they notice random, extravagant spending or other suspicious activity.
- Drugs. If you have prescription drugs laying around, burglars will often take them to sell them. If you have illicit drugs in your home, thieves will take those, too.
To safely stow valuables, ADT recommends investing in a concealed floor safe, keeping valuables in mislabeled bins and boxes reading ‘linens’ or ‘kids toys,’ or using fake, hollow book fronts on well-stocked bookshelves. How do most home invasions occur? In nearly all cases, the answer is quickly. The FBI reveals robberies average just eight to 10 minutes long. With that in mind, concealing or hiding your valuables can be a strong deterrent to breaking into your home.
Know The Most Effective Deterrents
Speaking of deterrents, some of the most effective ways to keep robbers out of your home are large, vocal dogs, parking a car or two in the driveway, and keeping your home well-lit.
- Dogs. A large, loud dog is going to create quite the stir in your home — and that is the very thing burglars want to avoid. Most often, if robbers see and hear a large dog, they will abandon the pursuit for a house that is less risky.
- Cars in the driveway. New garage door installations may inspire you to park all your vehicles inside the garage, but if robberies are among your top concerns, it is best to leave at least one car in the driveway. Leaving one car parked outside will make potential invaders second-guess themselves, and that is exactly what you want. If you are installing new garage doors, it may also benefit you to choose options with windows. Robbers will also peer into garage windows to see if there is a car parked inside.
- Bright lights or motion-activated lights. While night-time robberies are less common, they do happen. They are most likely to happen if you are on vacation or give some other solid indication that you may be away. Keeping your home brightly lit will deter criminals. Motion-activated lights may even convince them that you are home and that one of your family members is personally turning on the light. It also helps to keep the TV on or to use smart home systems and mobile applications to turn on the TV, adjust blinds and drapes, or turn lights on and off while you are away.
- How do most home invasions occur? Remember the answer is most often during the middle of the day. Robberies may also occur at night when no one is home. To prevent robberies, do not make it obvious when you are away from your home.
When To Take Extra Caution
There are times when you should take extra precautions to protect your home against robberies. First, think about the question, ‘How do most home invasions occur?’ Another common scenario is for would-be thieves to target homes that are out-of-the-way or well-concealed from their neighbors and the general public.
If you live at the end of the street, at the end of a cul-de-sac, or in a home surrounded by trees, tall bushes, or privacy fences, be extra cautious. Of course, an apartment or home that is private is initially attractive. It is much more desirable to live at the end of the street than in an apartment complex right next to the community garbage dumpster where people come and go all the time. However, having people come and go protects you. If you live on the end of the street, get a dog. Invest in security cameras and a quality alarm system that will go off whenever it is activated and someone opens a window or the door. Trim back bushes and trees, and reconsider that privacy fence. Chances are, if you are at the end of the street, you enjoy a considerable amount of privacy anyway. That privacy fence won’t add much and may do more harm than good.
Know The Telltale Signs Of Casing
How do most home invasions occur? Robbers do not want to be caught. While casing isn’t always part of the deal, many invaders will watch homes beforehand. Casing reassures would-be thieves that they can get away with it rather than meeting with bail bondsmen and lawyers in their near future. What are the signs of casing?
The most common signs may not be what you think. If there are fliers piling up in front of your door, for example, that is a potential sign of casing. While it is a valid marketing tactic, robbers may use it as a subtle way to gauge whether you are away. If you leave the fliers on the doorknob or piling up on the doorstep, they will likely assume that you are away. Shady utility workers, suspicious salesmen or women, or people who knock and claim to have the wrong house (but are looking inside as you open the door) may be robbers casing your home.
Of course, there are obvious signs, too. If you catch anyone taking pictures of your home, put up security cameras or ask neighbors to keep an extra eye on your home.
Weigh The Pros And Cons
Again, the best question to ask is, ‘How do most home invasions occur?’ If your custom home looks pricey and is surrounded by a tall privacy fence, it is more likely to attract potential burglars. Skip the privacy fence or put up security cameras in your backyard, too. Another common question is whether home security systems help. The answer is — overwhelmingly — yes. While it may indicate to some robbers that you have items worth stealing, as long as your system works and goes off it is likely to scare away potential robbers.
How do most home invasions occur? Home invasions are most likely to happen in the coming months. Be prepared with the right locks, an armed security system, and something extra, like a large dog or motion-activated lights.