The Los Angeles Police Department released a list of helpful hints in protecting your home against burglars.
The list came from Richard Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, who interviewed burglars for his book, Burglars on the Job: Street life and Residential Break-ins 1996.
The 18 things, from the perspective of the burglar, are:
“•The two things I hate most: loud dogs
and nosy neighbors.
•Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
•Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
•A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a timer.
•Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
•Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.
•If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
•If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.
•You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.
•Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
•I don't take a day off because of bad weather.
•To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
•I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
•I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)
•I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.
•A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
•I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
•I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?”
For full details, view this message on the web.Sources: Convicted burglars in California, North Carolina, Oregon, and Kentucky. Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job: Street life and Residential Break-ins 1996.