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The Most Popular Times for Burglaries

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At Northeast Security Solutions, we recommend taking a proactive, rather than a reactive, approach to security planning. A big part of this approach lies in anticipating how criminals strike, and when. Our recent post sharing Proactive Alarm Design Tips will help you thwart burglars by designing an effective alarm system. However, security does not begin and end with your alarm system itself. Knowing burglars’ tendencies can help you anticipate potential trouble and take measures to lower your security risk. In this post, we will share the most popular times for burglaries, and what you can do to to avoid becoming a victim.

We will begin with the basics of when burglars strike. Burglars dread facing confrontation inside their victims’ homes. Therefore, knowing the ways burglars try to make this happen will prove useful. From there, we will also look at why moving trucks can make a burglar’s eyes light up. Finally, we will share some tips that deal with our current merry time of year and how it affects your overall security. Now, let’s get started by focusing on how burglars determine when to commit their crime.

Striking with Nobody Home

As we shared above, burglars do not like confrontation. Running into residents during a break-in can occasionally spell danger for burglars. After all, many homeowners own firearms and other weapons as a means of self-defense. Furthermore, a physical confrontation inside a house can lead to additional charges in the case of an arrest. Of course, running into someone inside a house always leads to a greater chance of an arrest in general. For these reasons, burglars stay vigilant in attempting to break into empty homes. Let’s look at a couple steps thieves take to lower their own risk during a break-in.

A man with a paper knocking on a door.

Some burglars attempt to avoid suspicion by working in plain sight disguised as door-to-door salespeople or contractors.

Finding the Right Time of Day for a Burglary

Most security system commercials show burglars breaking into homes with unsuspecting residents inside. Of course, this brings out the most emotional response in viewers. However, it also represents a less likely scenario than a burglar breaking in during the daytime. In fact, burglars generally do their work between the hours of 10am-3pm. Why these hours and not during the nighttime under the cover of darkness? As it turns out, the promise of an empty home means even more to thieves than the cover of night. Burglars will often scope out victims’ homes before attempting a break-in. This involves watching a house during peak “empty” hours to see signs of people home. Ideal times to break in include times such as right after lunch time. Burglars seeing a homeowner leave after lunch know that the next few hours represent a relatively safe time to pay their own visit.

We recommend asking neighbors to help watch your home during any absences. Additionally, take note of any patterns you see in the neighborhood with unfamiliar vehicles. Victims of crimes that call us after getting broken into often report seeing the same vehicle in the neighborhood right before the crime. Furthermore, ask anyone going door to door for proof of where they work or who they represent. Burglars will often knock on doors and make up a story if someone answers. If someone knocking on the door claims to work for a specific company or represent an organization, get a business card. If they can’t provide one, call the police. Now, let’s look at how burglars try to rob homes during long-term absences.

Looking for Signs of an Extended Absence

What’s even better for a burglar than breaking into a home during a few hours when the residents are usually gone? Breaking in during a vacation or business trip with no chance of getting caught! Burglars look for signs of extended absences in various ways. For starters, backed-up mailboxes can signal an empty home. Additionally, burglars even put menus or other items in mailboxes or on porches themselves. This helps them catch travelers who have asked the post office to hold the mail. Furthermore, houses that stay dark for days can also excite thieves. Finally, thieves even use social media to see if old acquaintances or “friends of friends” have shared any pictures of current vacations. Sometimes these social media posts even share return dates!

We offer a few suggestions to combat these issues. First and foremost, asking neighbors to watch your home can go a long way. Have them save any packages or other mail left for you. You can even have people park in your driveway and stop in your house to check in during your absence. Additionally, installing smart lights allows you to set customized schedules to give your home a less “empty” look. With our smart lights powered by Alarm.com, you can even have these lights turn on and off at random times! This secures against thieves memorizing your lights’ schedules and easily deducting your absence. Finally, keep any pictures of your trips off of social media until you return. A little restraint in this area can go a long way towards additional security! Now, let’s look at another one of the most popular times for burglaries.

A truck with the words "Moving Service" on the side

Burglars often see families moving into homes as a “green light” to try to take their things during the unpacking phase.

Stealing from Families Moving In to Their New Home

The sight of moving trucks often means “go time” for burglars. Why? For starters, moving time means an empty home. Furthermore, the moving process often leads to people moving their possessions into the new home while living somewhere else. After tracking the “moving schedule,” burglars can strike and feel relatively safe. Occasionally, burglars even pose as workers or movers and commit their crimes in plain sight of the neighbors!

We have a couple suggestions to combat this issue. For starters, re-keying your locks can keep out anyone who has a key to your new home. Our post on How to Change Your Locks Effectively shared that we can make a new key work your lock without changing out the hardware itself! Additionally, installing home surveillance goes a long way towards adding security for your new home. Security cameras help you monitor your home for criminal activity in case something happens in your absence. Furthermore, the sight of cameras often turns burglars away before they even attempt a break-in. Last but not least, installing an alarm system as soon as you close on a home will alert you — and the authorities — to criminal activity at the property. Now, let’s look at why the holidays represent one of the most popular times for burglaries.

Holiday Security Scares

Holiday season raises security concerns on many levels. Let’s check off some of the “boxes” representing what burglars look for which the holidays check off. Homes with families gone for extended periods of time? Check. Electronics and other gifts in packages delivered to homes on a regular basis? Again, check. Finally, homes stocked with new electronics and appliances? Check! This time of year can wreak havoc on home security if you do not take the proper precautions. On the other hand, taking the right precautions can encourage burglars to look elsewhere instead of choosing your home.

A smartphone displaying a doorbell camera image of a mailman.

A doorbell camera by Alarm.com will alert you when someone approaches your door. This both improves door security and ensures that you will never miss the delivery of a package.

This holiday season, consider adding a smart doorbell to your home. We offer our own Alarm.com doorbell to our customers for unique security at your entrances. This product allows you to see activity at your doors. Furthermore, smart doorbells even allow you to have a conversation with visitors through your phone! This can help you scare away potential thieves or provide instructions for those dropping off packages. These cameras also store video clips that you can use in case a package does get taken! We also recommend hiding any evidence of valuables you may receive this year. Don’t put boxes from big-screen televisions, laptops, or other gifts outside until you have to. Waiting until the last minute to dispose of gift packaging will make your home a less attractive target for anyone looking for evidence of valuables.

Maintaining Security Even During the Most Popular Times for Burglaries

We hope that this post helps you secure your home, even during the most popular times for burglaries. Knowing what to expect, and when, can help you prepare for the worst. In turn, doing so makes the worst case scenario less likely. We encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about this post. Maybe you have a solid security plan in place, but want to add a few wrinkles to it after reading this post. Or maybe you don’t have much done in the areas of security equipment or planning, and want to get started. Either way, we’re glad to help! If desired, we can even stop out for a free site survey to help with your security planning. Together, we can create a plan to keep you as safe and secure as possible, even during the most popular times for burglaries!