21 Things a Burglar Won’t Tell You (From a Burglar’s Perspective)

Crime Stats

Michael Williams, a former Federal Agent with over 25 years of Law Enforcement experience, gives a glimpse into the thoughts of a burglar as they decide which homes to target.

The thoughts he reveals below are both shocking and unsettling for homeowners everywhere.  
  1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes I dress like the lawn guy and carry a rake. I try my best to never look like a burglar.
  2. Of course I look familiar – I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters or delivering your new refrigerator.
  3. Hey, thanks for letting me use your bathroom when I was working in your yard today. While I was there I unlatched the window to make my return a little easier.
  4. Do you think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table AND the medicine cabinet.
  5. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into the kid’s rooms.   I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it).
  6. If you don’t answer when I knock, I’ll try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
  7. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home and for flat screen TV’s, video game systems and laptop computers (I usually leave desktop computers alone – too heavy).
  8. I’ll drive through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
  9. To you, leaving a window open (just a crack) during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To a burglar, it’s an invitation.
  10. Two things I hate the most: barking dogs and nosey neighbors.
  11. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s just human nature. I know, I study human nature, it’s a burglar’s job.
  12. A loud TV or radio can be a good deterrent. Leave your TV on when you go out. You can buy a timer that turns it on and off at predetermined times when you go out or vacation.
  13. I’m not complaining, but why do you spend all that money on an alarm system and leave the house without setting it.
  14. I’m more likely to pass up your house if I see video cameras outside.
  15. If decorative glass is part of your front door entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes my job too easy!
  16. If you ask your security alarm company to arm the window over the sink, I won’t be your friend. And arming the windows on the second floor won’t make me happy either. Motion Detectors do not make me a happy burglar at all.
  17. Avoid announcing your vacation plans of Facebook or Twitter. It’s easier than you think to look up your address. In fact, I can even figure it out from some of the pictures you post.
  18. You’re right: I won’t have time to break into your safe but if it’s small and not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
  19. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might put a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
  20. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your keys and you forgot to lock your door- understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
  21. I ALWAYS have a Plan. Do you? Even my half-baked plan is better than your “No-Plan” plan.

If you have a monitored security system, your defense is already in place. But you need to use it. Make sure to arm your system when you are away from home, or safe inside.

Need a security system?  EMC Security would love to earn your business.  Give us a call at 770.963.0305 to discuss your options.  

Michael Williams – Former Federal Agent:  Michael Williams is a former Federal Agent with over 25 years of Law Enforcement experience.  His work includes 15 years as an undercover narcotics agent.  He was the Senior Instructor at the U.S. Army Military Police School.  Michael is currently a Private Investigator in Atlanta, Georgia.