Prevent Home Burglary With These Home Security Tips

A former thief shares the dirt on the home burglary game, including types of thieves and home security tips.

| May/June 1988

Some "inside" home security tips on preventing home burglary from a former burglar. 

Prevent Home Burglary With These Home Security Tips

Imagine yourself returning from a pleasant evening at the movies. You pull into the driveway, happy, as always, to be home, and walk in the front door. Switching on the light, you stare in disbelief. No, this can't be right. The living room is in disarray; the place is a shambles.

Your house has been burglarized. A stranger has invaded your home, sorting through and taking your possessions, and the odds are that the perpetrator won't be caught. Nor is it likely that your property will be recovered.

Unfortunately, the chances of your home being broken into increase every day. Middle-class suburban neighborhoods may be among the most popular targets for burglars, but no home is immune.

I know. As a former burglar, I did my work in all types of neighborhoods across the U.S. One week I'd be in California, the next in Arizona, and then in Florida. It wasn't unusual for me to pull as many as 15 jobs a week, then take the goods into another state and sell them before they had a chance to hit the police "hot sheet," a regularly updated list of stolen merchandise. For quite a while I found burglary an easy way to make a living, simply because the owners of the homes I hit failed to use common sense. They probably didn't really think themselves immune. Instead, I imagine most of them just didn't take the time to consider their vulnerability. After reading this article, I hope you'll invest the thought necessary to safeguard your home. Believe me, the repayment, in terms of both time and heartache spared, can be substantial.

Burglars: A Field Guide

There are several common types of housebreakers that may, at this moment, have your home under consideration. Let me describe some of the more common varieties and a few of their methods of operation.

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