The Rosen Report on NBC this morning interviewed an incarcerated home burglar who gave some great tips for homeowners on crime prevention:
> He and other burglars usually make their hits during the day between 8 AM and 2 PM . Usually by 8 AM adults are off to work and kids off to school, so no one is at home. By 2 PM or later the risk increases that homeowners will return home. Most burglars do not want to get caught. However, there are those fewer cases where thieves may break in to an occupied residence.
- TIP: If you are home when a burglar breaks in, or come upon a burglary in progress, do NOT confront, but leave immediately, call for help and call 911.
> Homes that have visible uncollected mail, packages, or newspapers and no car in the driveway are prime targets as they indicate no one is home.
- TIP: Make arrangements to have any mail or newspaper service stopped or picked up by a neighbor also have the trash bins placed on the curb. Also, make an effort to arrange to have a vehicle parked in the driveway.
> Keeping lights on timers always good and may deter but do not make much difference during daylight hours, when many burglaries occur.
- TIP: Make sure during the twilight/evening hours to keep blinds closed and drapes drawn to prevent visual access to the home interior.
> Homes often found to have open and/or unlocked windows, sliding doors and even main entry doors. This burglar said he frequently gained easy entrance without any ‘tools.’
- TIP: Windows should be closed and locked when you are not at home. Same with sliding doors and main entry doors. Even when walking your dog, lock the door behind you (and do not forget to bring your key to get back in- my lesson learned).
> Homes with video cameras may be considered more attractive as they indicate there may be something more valuable in the home, and the burglar would put on a mask to be unrecognizable.
- TIP: Maintaining a video surveillance system is still a good idea both outside and inside, as it may still be a deterrent and help the police investigate more effectively should a break-in occur.
> Homes with an alarm system may help deter a break-in, or speed up the time a burglar ransacks the home. However, this burglar burglarized homes with alarms activated. Usually a thief hits and runs, getting in the house, moving quickly, seeking items of value and getting out within 1-3 minutes, and are long gone before the police arrive.
- TIP: Keep an inventory of valuables and electronics in the home. Keep valuables and any cash locked up or hidden away and out of view to reduce being stolen. Electronics should be marked so they can be traced and recovered more readily.
One of the biggest deterrents was neighbors keeping an eye out for each other. This burglar was caught by a watchful neighbor calling the police . Neighborhood watch works.