Do you know how safe your home is from burglary? Our statistics below may shock you!
Most burglaries may not be like the old-fashioned image you’ve imagined - a person wearing a black stocking cap and tiptoeing around your house in the middle of the night. Actual burglaries can be very different and can happen at any time of the day.
Knowing the burglary facts and statistics in your area is important so that you can take the essential steps needed to protect your home and loved ones.
We’ve summarized the surprising burglary stats you should know below.
When Do Most Burglaries Occur?
According to the U.S Department of Justice, most burglaries happen during summertime. The snow and extremely cold temperature during winter are a significant deterrent for burglars. And if you think burglaries commonly happen at night, this statistic may shock you. Most burglaries occur between 6 AM to 6 PM wherein most homeowners are at work or away from home. On average, a total of 1,495,790 burglaries happen during the day while 1,324,090 happen at night time. This only means that most burglars prefer to commit the crime when no one is at home in broad daylight!
Who These Burglars Are
According to a report made by UNC Charlotte, most of the burglars are male which are under the age of 25. Surprisingly, 85% of them are amateurs and have committed the crime out of desperation.
The study conducted also revealed that only 12% of the burglaries are planned in advance while 41% of the burglars admitted that the crime was out of an impulsive decision. And finally, most burglars are attracted to homes with no alarm system installed. In fact, 83% of burglars would first determine if the house is installed with an alarm security system and 60% admitted that they wouldn’t break into a house once they found out that it has an alarm system installed.
How Most Burglars Break-In
Whether we like it or not, most burglars would love to invade a home without any security systems installed. As mentioned, most burglars are amateurs and they tend to use common tools such as pliers, hammers, pry bars, and screwdrivers which you can easily deter with sturdy door locks, windows, and installation of alarm systems or cameras.
In fact, 95% of break-ins require forceful entries by breaking the window, kicking the door, or picking a lock that doesn’t require special skills. Unfortunately, only about 17% of homes have home security systems installed. If you don’t have any alarm systems at home, then you are 300% more likely to be burglarized.
What Burglars Commonly Steal
According to a 2017 study, most burglars would head straight to the bedroom to steal high-value items such as jewelry, car keys, credit cards, and cash which they could easily fit inside their pockets and can easily sell at a pawn shop. Gone are the days where bulky electronics, sound systems, and TVs are carted off. Below is the summary of the top 5 items commonly stolen during break-ins:
- Watches and jewelry - 43%
- Cash or wallets - 38%
- Laptops or computer equipment - 34%
- Cameras and other electronic goods - 19%
- Smartphones - 13%.
And many times, burglars go straight to the medicine cabinet to get painkillers and anti-depressants.
Other Facts About Burglaries
Be one step ahead by knowing these other facts about burglaries:
Burglaries mostly occur in rural states
If you think that living away from the big cities will keep you safe from break-ins, you’re wrong. In fact, major cities such as New York actually have lower burglaries per capita compared to those located in rural areas.
Burglary can happen every 23 seconds
A 2017 report from the FBI revealed that around three burglaries happen every minute in the US, which would total to 3,757 break-ins per day. Your risk of being burglarized increases if you don’t have any security systems installed.
So, if you think burglaries are unfortunate events you can only watch on the TV news, it’s time to change that perspective! Aside from study door locks and windows and security systems, you can reduce your risk of break-ins by keeping your valuables and expensive toys out of sight.
Burglars usually target the bedroom
As mentioned, most burglars would go straight to the bedroom where they think jewelry, expensive watches, keys, and cash are hidden. Most burglars nowadays are not interested in carting off heavy electronic goods and household objects - they would rather take small valuable items that can be easily exchanged for cash.
Burglary victims lose an average of $2,416
Victims commonly lose an amount equivalent to at least two months of rent or a couple of weeks’ worth of pay after a burglary. Unfortunately, a lot of burglaries happen in apartments where victims feel limited to the amount of security they can install.
28% of burglaries happen when someone is home
For every 10 burglaries, 3 of them happen when someone’s at home. So never be too complacent! If you’re at home, always keep your doors and windows locked to avoid anyone getting easy access to your home. It’s also helpful to have security cameras and alarms systems in place for added protection.
47% of burglaries are unplanned
Most burglars admit that the crimes they’ve committed are generally a “spur of the moment” thing. And since most break-ins are results of impulsive decisions of burglars, make sure that your home is not an easy target when a potential burglar passes by on your area.
Most burglars live within 2 miles from the victim’s home
Whether we like it or not, most of the potential burglars are living within 2 miles of your home. Having good neighbors we can trust is what we all want but sometimes we need to be careful about disclosing our personal information or upcoming trips. It is also better to vary your daily routines so that anyone that might have an interest in your home will not easily gain access.
In every 100 burglaries, 14 arrests are made
On average, only 14 arrests happen in every 100 break-ins which shows the difficulty in catching and convicting thieves. Most burglars often get away easily because homeowners lack the alarm and security systems needed to prevent the crime.
This is where a good camera system can really help!
How to Protect Your Home
Most burglars change their minds when they think that the house doesn’t have any attractive valuables or is difficult to access. To avoid home intrusion, you can do the following:
Install an alarm system
As mentioned already, most burglars would change their mind the moment they know that a house has an alarm system installed. Alarm systems nowadays are affordable and have the basic features needed to protect your home. You can even have the system connected to the authorities directly which is helpful during emergencies.
Install security cameras
Security cameras provide strong evidence in case of break-ins. You can also monitor your home through your smartphone anytime and anywhere you are and take action right away in case of emergencies.
Do not display your valuables and expensive toys
One way to attract burglars is to let them know that you have some expensive items they can easily steal. To protect your valuables, make sure to always keep them out of sight!
Beef-up your door and windows
Your door and windows are the easiest points to gain entry to your home when not properly secured. Check that your doors and windows are sturdy enough against forced entries. Make sure that the window and door frames are strong to sustain strong kicks and breaking.
Make your home less appealing for burglars
Burglars love to invade homes with large bushes where they can cover and hide during a break-in attempt. Make sure that your house doesn’t have an overgrown bush or structures that can serve as a cover for thieves.
Invest in high-quality door locks
Even if you have a sturdy door and door frame, a low-quality door lock that can be easily picked or drilled will not stop any burglars from entering your home. Door locks come in different types and grade levels, such as electronic door locks and the traditional door locks. Each of the types has its own pros and cons and vary in prices. Choose the one that fits your needs and your budget.
Know your neighbors
It is always worth the effort to get to know your neighbors so that you can help each other during emergencies. You can watch their home while they can help you watch yours.
Make your house look occupied when you’re on vacation
It is during times when your house looks empty that burglars try to commit the crime. There are many ways to make your house occupied even if you’re away for a vacation. You can get those smart devices or timers connected to your lights or appliances that automatically turn on at any time of the day to simulate someone inside the house.
Place warning signs outside your home
Letting potential burglars know that you have a large dog or security systems installed lessens your chance of being burglarized. So go ahead and place warning signs outside your home!
Stop mail deliveries while you’re on vacation
Unopened mail deliveries left on your doorstep is a good sign for burglars that no one is home. So if you have an upcoming vacation, do not forget to cancel any mail deliveries at usps.com (in the US)!
Wrapping It Up
Knowing the statistics and your risk of being burglarized helps you decide the right kind of protection needed to prevent burglaries. Never take chances! Learn how burglars target their potential victims and, from there, know how to improve your home security.
Have you found this article helpful? Do leave your comments below for any suggestions. Keep your friends and family protected from burglaries by sharing this article!
Hi, I’m Christy, and I’m an electronics engineer by profession. I have taught in a university for 2 years while pursuing my master’s degree in cognitive radio and worked for a company to develop wireless medical devices. Currently, I’m doing research for a doctorate degree in engineering using a wireless sensor network for smart agriculture. I’ve been active in our local IoT community, IoT Cebu, where I participate in conducting talks about Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and DIY home automation using Wi-Fi and ZigBee devices.