How do burglars choose which homes to break into? Is it random? Do they choose the first house they see on the street?

Nope – most burglaries are not random at all. That’s because savvy burglars know they can increase their odds of avoiding detection and scoring bigger loots by targeting suitable homes. The question is: what exactly are they looking for, and why?

Here are 5 things that make your home a target.

1) A dark house

More specifically, burglars are looking for homes that appear vacant. And a house without lights on is often a clear sign that no one is home – especially if the place has been dark for several days.

Burglars prefer vacant homes because there’s far less risk of being caught. This is why keeping your home well-lit at night or while you’re away is important. Consider using timers or smart lights to schedule your lights to turn on automatically during the evening.

2) Uncollected mail, packages or newspapers

This one is even more telling than an unlit house. If mail or newspapers have been piling up, it’s a surefire sign that nobody has been home for days. So even if the homeowner left some lights on inside, it wouldn’t fool a burglar if there’s a massive pile of uncollected mail.

If you’re away, plan to have someone collect your mail, newspapers and packages while you’re gone.

3) Overgrown bushes and grass

This is yet another sign that the house is vacant. If the lawn hasn’t been mowed in weeks, then burglars will suspect you’re away on vacation.

But that’s not the only reason why burglars look for overgrown landscaping. High shrubbery also allows burglars to hide as they approach your house. If there’s a high bush close to a window or door, they’ll use that as an entry spot so that neighbours can’t see them.

Be sure to keep shrubbery cut low, and always plan to have your lawn mowed if you’ll be away for an extended period.

4) Lack of a security system

In an interview with State Farm, a former burglar shared how he and his accomplices would steer clear of any homes that appeared to have an alarm system or security cameras. “If I saw a sticker for a home security system, that would have been enough of a deterrent,” he said. “Once, we broke into a house, and an alarm went off. We immediately turned around and just ran.”

Security systems and cameras act as powerful deterrent that makes burglars think twice before targeting your home. And in the event that they decide to target your house anyway, the alarm system often scares them off and ensures that authorities are promptly alerted.

5) Social posts that show you’re not home

In the social media age, it’s all too common for people to share photos of their fabulous vacations and getaways in real-time. But you may not realize who is paying attention.

Savvy burglars can now easily target homes by scouring social media for such posts. In many cases, it only takes a few clicks to find the home addresses of people who are telling the world that they’re miles away from home. This is why it’s never a good idea to share these types of posts until after you’ve returned, even if you think you’re only sharing them with a close network of friends.

Learn more

Contact PROTECTION PLUS for a no-obligation security system consultation today for more information on how to protect your home from burglary.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.