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Catch Me If You Can: Inside The Mind Of A Burglar

A groundbreaking new study by a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte examines hundreds of convicted offenders to gain an unprecedented look inside the mind of a burglar, providing a remarkable insight into an intruder’s motivation and methods.

The survey, entitled “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective,” was conducted by Dr. Joseph B. Kuhns of the university’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.  Funding was provided by the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF), which is the tax-exempt foundation that serves as the research arm for the electronic security industry with support from the Electronic Security Association (ESA).

What Deters The Typical Con Man

According to the study, a majority of burglars considered the presence of deterrents such as alarms, outdoor cameras and other surveillance equipment when choosing a potential residential or commercial target.  Approximately 83 percent of the offenders said they would attempt to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary, and 60 percent said they would seek an alternative target.  Among those who discovered the presence of an alarm while attempting a burglary, half reported they would discontinue the attempt, while another 31 percent said they would sometimes retreat.  Only 13 percent said they would always continue the attempt even after an alarm had been discovered.

Video Cameras Are A Must

The presence of video surveillance was also an effective deterrent.  Nearly 60 percent of the burglars said they would consider the presence of cameras or other video equipment when selecting a target and more than 40 percent said that would be a factor in prompting them to choose another target.

In addition to Kuhns at UNC Charlotte, other researchers are Dr. Kristie R. Blevins, Easter Kentucky University; and R. Seungmau “Zech” Lee, Western Illinois University.  For more information and to read the study in its entirety, go to www.AIREF.org.

About Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates is a premier full-service security firm with more than 600 associates serving homeowners, businesses, and gated communities throughout Southern California. And while the company has changed since 1967, it continues to stay true to its roots of striving for excellence for its customers and setting the standard for service within the security industry.

How Light and Sound Help to Deter Amateur Buglers

In preventing a burglary at your home, value the deterrent effect of light and sound equally.

Leaving lights on in strategic areas is important in giving your home the lived-in look. But of equal importance is arranging to have a television or a radio turned on at dinner time and off at midnight. This can be done with inexpensive timers.In other words, make the home look as normally would when occupied.

It’s Ok To Keep The TV On Sometimes

Remember, the potential burglar is probably living within a five-minute walk of your home. If this person hears a television or radio playing, the natural assumption is that someone is home, and that is exactly the image you are striving for.

Make Them Think You Are Home, When You’re Not

Low cost, low voltage, outdoor decorative lights are also a great deterrent. A set of six yard lights with a timer, transformer and wire can be easily installed yourself.

A burglar, intent on preying upon the residences of Southern California has only to walk down a street at night and look around to pick his target. Can you truly imagine him picking a well-lighted yard to crawl into as opposed to the freedom of walking into a darkened yard surrounding a house with no evidence of being occupied? It strains credulity, doesn’t it?

Pro Burglars vs. Amateur Burglars

Now, the skeptics are going to reply that a professional burglar won’t be deterred by these cosmetic devices. That may be true, but the amateur burglar is the one committing most of the burglaries in our city. Low-cost means of making your home a tougher target for crimes might force the intruder elsewhere.

I know a man who had a small manufacturing plant in a very isolated area far from any police patrol or alarm company. He kept a flock of geese inside the warehouse. The racket sent up by the fowl when an intruder came within one hundred yards was deafening.

Low Tech & High Tech: A Great Combination

Certainly, if you have expensive jewelry or a fabulous art collection in your home, I would suggest you call a professional security consultant and combine sophisticated intrusion alarm system with greatly beefed-up lights, locks and fences. In the meantime, anything you can do to cut down the odds of being the target of a burglar will be well worth the effort.

About Boyd & Associates

Since 1967, Boyd & Associates has been providing total security for homes, businesses, and communities of every size and type. We combine advanced systems, responsive service and rigorously trained security teams to create a strong, nimble and formidable force that deters, detects and responds – for total security.

Should I Use A Fake Security Sign To Protect My Home

A burglary happens every 15 seconds somewhere in the United States. In nearly every burglary, the criminal makes a series of assessments to decide whether robbing a home is worth the risk. Sometimes a simple security sign or sticker is enough to deter a would-be thief; but not always. Criminals are savvy and if they feel it is worth the effort, they will make further evaluations to see if there is indeed a system, and what it would take to get past it.

One Layer of Deterrence

Criminals look for a sure thing. If they think that the risk is not worth the reward, they move on. For this reason, displaying security signs and window decals is a great first step in crime prevention. They are however, only one step in the many it takes in protecting your home.

Looking For Signs

Criminals do considerable research before committing a crime. Even when a home has security stickers, the criminal may still spend some time and effort looking for signs of an active security system. They may knock at your door asking for directions to see if you have a keypad visible from the door, or look for mirrors that could give them a better view. Criminals also watch your comings and goings and look for signs of home automation that would indicate the use of a comprehensive alarm system.

Criminals are savvy and if they feel it is worth the effort, they will make further evaluations to see if there is indeed a system, and what it would take to get past it.

The Pitfalls of Fake Signs

Fake security signs seem like a great, inexpensive deterrent against crime, but are they? Chances are pretty good that the criminal has already seen the fake sign and has already determined its validity. Criminals simply Google the name of the company or compare the sign to others online and discover quickly that it is not real. Remember, if you found a place to buy the sign, they can find the same place just as easily. In the event of a robbery, it is not a very economical choice at all.

Home Security Systems and Signage are the Best Option

According to a comprehensive 5 year study conducted by Rutgers University, homes with security systems are 60% less likely to be burglarized, and in the event of a burglary, homeowners end up losing $2000 less than a similar home without security.

The best security is layered security where visual deterrents work alongside physical deterrents. If you have any questions about how to create the most effective layered security, give us a call today!

Prevent Burglars from Targeting Your Home

Following these tips can dramatically reduce the chance of being burgled and having precious valuables and memories stolen from your home. Be safe and secure.

Home security is one subject where the old adage still rings true: prevention is better than the cure.

Sure, home insurance can cover you in the event of theft, but you still have to go through the hassle of submitting a claim – not to mention the psychological damage suffered. Similarly, security cameras or vandal paint can help when attempting to capture criminals after the event, but again there is distress and potential loss of possessions in the meantime.

So how can you make your home less attractive to burglars? There are some tips that we can provide that will help make your home seem less appealing. A few of these ways include:

Keeping it Locked

A lot of burglaries are the result of opportunistic thieves spotting the chance for a quick score and grabbing it.

An open door, even if you’re in the house and are bringing things in and out, is enough of an invitation for a quick-footed burglar to nip in and grab smaller valuables. Similarly, a flimsy looking door or frame can have the best locks in the world – they won’t protect your home from a swift kick or a robust shoulder charge

Statistics show that 30% of all illegal entering of buildings occurs through a window, so this is obviously an area that needs focus. If you have sash windows at ground level, invest in strong and visible locks and dead bolts to ensure they cannot be forced open by a passing intruder. Double glazed or laminated windows are a must. Opportunists will immediately be put off by their strength, and they bring a host of other benefits, such as heat insulation, to prevent energy loss.

Nobody Home?

Leaving your home for a while? Just because your home is empty, it doesn’t have to look that way.  Security checks when you go on holiday should be a fundamental necessity for all homeowners, as many houses are targets if it is obvious the home is unoccupied for a lengthy period of time. Keep lights on and, if possible, a radio or TV. Any small valuables, such as laptops, purses, phones, tablets and more, should be well out of sight from anyone peering through the window.

Security lights might not put off hardier criminals, but the alarm they may cause passing chancers may be sufficient to scare them away.

When going away for a longer period, try to arrange for someone to park their car in your driveway or on the street outside. If they’re someone you trust, give them a key and ask them to open and close curtains at appropriate times, move mail from the doormat and generally keep an eye on the place.

Alarms and Visible Deterrents

Along with motion sensor lighting, as mentioned above, having a noticeable burglar alarm installed for your home is base-level burglary prevention. If the sight of an alarm isn’t enough to deter a would-be intruder, then its noise should be sufficient to frighten them away and alert your neighbors.

There are different types of burglar and security systems that you can purchase which will be suitable for your home. If you want to upgrade your security even more then installing CCTV is also a sure-fire way of reducing the chances of burglars stepping onto your premises. This can also be used as evidence for prosecution and your insurance.

Dogs can be beneficial as visible/audible deterrents, but selecting the right balance between noisy and aggressive can be tricky, and it’s important to ensure that home security isn’t the only reason you’re buying a dog.

Keep Your Keys Safe

This could be the most obvious advice, but it is the one that is most forgotten. As stated before, the majority of burglars are opportunists and if they have easy access to your keys then they will take them.

For this reason, we advise that you don’t place your keys anywhere near your door or window of your home. If they are out of sight then it doesn’t give the thieves the opportunity for an easy break-in. We would also advise to NOT purchase any fake rocks for putting your spare key in. This goes for leaving it under a plant or the mat on your front doorstep as well.

Follow our advice to dramatically reduce the chance of being burgled and having precious valuables and memories stolen from your home. Be safe and secure.

This article by Richard Peat was published on the Security Today website:  http://security-today.com