Safety Advice from a Home Burglar

If there’s anyone you’d be wary of taking advice from, it would probably be a known criminal. Still, when it comes to home safety (especially if you’re living off campus) this is probably the best person you could possibly talk to. After all, they’re the ones looking for cracks in your home’s lockdown capabilities. So what are some things a criminal gets rather excited to see when looking for a target? Read, learn, and keep yourself safe.

1.) “I’ve probably been here before.” A crook isn’t going to waste time on a home that has little to offer on the inside. Chances are they’ve already taken a look around your place. Whether they were here last week fixing your internet, talking to you about the upcoming election or were trying to sell you a set of steak knives, they’ve found some way into your house to look around a bit. Be cautious who you let into your home, even if it seems fairly innocent. There’s nothing wrong with making someone give you their sales pitch on your front stoop instead of in your living room.

2.) “I can tell when you’ve been gone awhile.” Yes, it’s true: a pile of newspapers on your doorstep or mail falling out of your mailbox is a dead giveaway that your home is unattended. This isn’t so much of a problem if you have roommates, but if you live alone or all your roommates are gone at the same time (you’re all on a university sports team), you could be at risk. It’s also a common tactic for a potential burglar to attach a flyer in your doorway (maybe a Chinese takeout menu) to see how long it stays there. Plus, when it snows, a lack of fresh tracks leading to the door is a dead giveaway. So are those giants snow drifts in your driveway; it means you don’t even have a neighbor stopping to check up on things. Jackpot.

3.) “I always check bedside drawers, dressers and the medicine cabinet.” So forget about that stash of money you’re hiding in your sock drawer, that’ll probably be the first thing that gets found. Oh and that safe that you’re convinced no one is going to get into? If it’s not bolted down or attached to something, it’ll just be loaded up along with everything else. One piece of advice when it comes to hiding things though, crooks hardly ever look in children’s rooms. And speaking of kids…

4.) “Your kids’ belongings broadcast your wealth.”  If you’re a single parent all those toys your kids leave lying around the yard give criminals an idea of what kind of money you’re able to spend. Sure you might be a broke college student, but they don’t know that. If your kids have some serious toys out front, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume they have an expensive gaming system and their own personal laptops inside.

5.) “Sound is your friend.” A flashing television, music, or a loud dog is a perfect deterrent for a burglar. And while it’s perfectly acceptable to turn appliances off when you leave town, it’s smart to invest in a device that has the flickering glow of a television and works on a timer.

6.) “Stop broadcasting your whereabouts.” It’s incredibly easy to find your Facebook page and just wait until you post, “Heading to the airport! Cabo here we come!” It’s also easy to wait for “check-in” of “At MacKenzie River Pizza with 3 others.” Then a burglar knows there’s a pretty good chance your stuff is up for grabs.

Make sure to check out all of our dorm (or off-campus) safety equipment at!


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