Whether you live in the heart of a bustling city, or, in the middle of the woods (as I do) you’ve likely spent some time wondering if you’re at risk for burglary. My particular community was directly affected by a string of such crimes this past winter. It turned out there was a “team” of three or four young men burglarizing and robbing various domestic residences, as well as several commercial establishments. During several of the incidents, they held people at gunpoint or knifepoint.
Thankfully, although one elderly couple was obviously traumatized by the experience of being locked in their own basement by a masked intruder with a knife, no one suffered serious bodily injury of any kind. The assailants were all eventually apprehended. Because these crimes were occurring extremely close to home, it heightened my awareness regarding safety issues.
Former criminals say a loud dog is a deterrent
One article I read was quite interesting, and I learned several things I plan to immediately implement. Nearly 100 prison inmates, experienced burglars, reportedly agreed to participate in an anonymous survey to help homeowners better protect themselves from invasive crimes. These prisoners obviously have remorse for their own actions and expressed interest in taking proactive steps to prevent others from becoming future victims.
So, take note. The following list includes tips coming straight from the horses’ mouths so-to-speak as to how you can avoid becoming victim to a burglary:
- Large, loudly barking dogs are apparently hands-down the best deterrent to burglary crimes. Nearly all participants in the survey said if they see a large dog or hear loud barking, they will not attempt to gain access to a home. (Small dogs, not so much.)
- Similarly, experienced convicted burglars say they are put off by sounds of radios or televisions. They actually advise homeowners to leave these items on when they are not at home to prevent potential burglaries. Surprisingly, these things allegedly keep burglars away more than cameras or security systems.
- Avoid putting NRA stickers on your vehicles. Burglars say they often follow such vehicles because it often leads them to homes where there are lots of firearms to steal. (Many survey participants also said they will case these vehicles and homes to determine a pattern of occupancy and departure.)
- Shockingly, most of the burglars who were interviewed said they first knock on the door before breaking into a home. They typically use this as a test to see if a home is occupied and have planned responses ready in case someone answers the door.
I was also surprised to learn the inmates typically committed burglaries between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., stating that children are usually in school at this time and anyone coming home from work for lunch has already returned to their workplace after 1 p.m. or so. (So much for my imaginings of wee-hour crimes under the cover of darkness.)
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.