Walking through any local neighbourhood, it is evident that many homes look the same. The cost for the properties on any one street are comparable, so most carry an array of similarly-sized houses with consistent architecture. Why then, are some spots targeted by burglars while others are safe? It turns out, seasoned criminals have a fairly standard checklist of features that make up their ideal house.
Nature: Prowlers seek out entry ways that are covered by large bushes or trees. This shields them from any onlookers and allows easy access into the home. Even if nosy neighbours gaze upon nearby properties, overgrown shrubs can block the sight of a lock-picking stranger.
No technology: Bandits steer clear of homes with visible alarm systems, especially video surveillance. Because newer tools have high-definition recordings and instant smartphone alerts, criminals know any missteps around these devices could spell disaster.
Quiet: Thieves listen carefully before entering any building. A loud TV or radio typically indicates an inhabitant, causing most would-be burglars to split.
Darkness: Residents who leave their homes without any lighting are a favourite of crooks. Besides signaling an empty house, prowlers can easily move around the property without detection.
Social media sharers: It’s tempting to announce a tropical vacation in the middle of a dreary winter. However, sharing detailed information about when your home will be empty is potentially troublesome. Additionally, some smartphones automatically provide geotagging, which means innocent photos snapped with your cell can provide very detailed data about your locations.
Upkeep: It sounds strange, but a well-manicured garden is actually off-putting to thieves. It indicates that owners put significant effort into their property and are likely home often.
Pets: This factor will be surprising to those who assume a barking dog can scare away any unwanted visitors. While is it disconcerting for some, furry friends are easily neutralized with tasty treats. Plus, pets could mean there’s an easily accessible doggie door.
Friends: As unlikely as it seems, most burglaries are committed by someone who knows the homeowner. Whether it be neighbours, acquaintances or former repairmen, a robbery is significantly easier for a person who knows the layout of the home.
Drugs and medication: With the significant rise in prescription drug abuse, those who openly discuss their array of pills may be risking a ransack of their medicine cabinet. Swiping tablets and capsules is simple and quick for thieves to offload.
Visible spare keys: Are you still keeping a copy of your key under the welcome mat? How about under a fake rock? If you make it effortless to enter your home, you can bet thieves will make you a target.
Boxes and trash: Did you just buy a new TV or laptop? You may toss the packaging for expensive equipment on the curb but it’s a sign to crooks that you have a houseful of expensive new goods.
Location: If you’re at the end of a cul-de-sac or road, your house offers a prime location for burglary. These homes are less visible to traffic and passersby.