How Criminals Think: Preventing Break-Ins and Property Crime

How Criminals Think: Preventing Break-Ins and Property Crime


If you’re a homeowner looking to avoid run-ins with burglars and other criminals, you might be wondering how you can make your home an unappealing target. To do so, you first need to understand how criminals think. What are some of the features that make a given home an appealing target for a criminal? 

Unattended in the Daytime

One common misconception about break-ins is that they must always take place during the nighttime. This isn’t the case: most burglars know that homeowners are usually asleep and inside the home at night. A successful burglar is one who never bumps into another person when they’re inside a home.

This means that burglars are looking for homes that are unattended during the daytime. If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of people who are out of their homes during the day, then you’re at a higher risk of having your home broken into. To prevent this from happening, consider taking measures to make your home look inhabited in the daytime, like leaving the TV on or leaving a car at home so it looks like someone is home.

Open Blinds

Criminals would prefer not to open themselves up to the risk of being captured by police without the promise of some kind of valuable payday. If they see an opportunity to steal valuables from an unattended home, they’ll take it. If you keep your blinds open, they might be able to spy on your valuable items: your TV, your game consoles, and perhaps even expensive collectibles like baseball cards.

If you want to prevent them from seeing what you have in your home, draw your blinds or close your curtains to keep prying eyes out of your rooms. This way, a burglar will have no idea whether your home is worth breaking into. 

No One Is Watching

Burglars prefer to work in situations where they think they’ll be unseen. If your home has a tall privacy fence or is otherwise obscured from the view of your neighbors, you’re more likely to be targeted by a criminal. Oddly, in this case, privacy works against you.

If your home is hard to see from neighboring houses, consider investing in a conspicuous home security system, complete with exterior cameras. As soon as burglars feel like they’re being watched, their desire to try to break in drops dramatically. In fact, just installing a camera – even one that doesn’t connect to anything – can dissuade all but the most dedicated of criminals from trying to enter your home.