How Not to Have Your Home Burglarized

21 THINGS YOUR friendly neighborhood BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU

  1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
  2. 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.
  3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
  4. 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.
  5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
  9. 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.)
  10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
  11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at
  14. 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.
  15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
  16. 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.
  17. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
  18. 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.
  19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.
  20. To you who leaves that window open just a crack during the day to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation!
  21. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
    Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs; and  Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

2 Easy-to-remember Self-Protection Tips:

  1. If you don’t have a gun, use WASP SPRAY!!! Recommended by police over pepper spray. A can of wasp spray can shoot up to 20 ft away and is a lot more accurate. Go for the eyes. The spray temporarily blinds an attacker. Val Glinka, who teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School, suggests a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed because “This is better than anything I can teach them. That’s going to give you a chance to call the police.”
  2. Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. Your car key alarm is a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation.
    H/t my friend Bob W.
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Good tips!
I’ve also heard/read that planting thorny shrubs (or cacti if climate permits) in front of windows can be a deterrent.
A neighbor was recently burglarized by someone who removed a window air conditioner and climbed in the window, so securing the a/c rather than just setting it in the window is also a good idea.


oh youse guys are nott nice telin me secretttes nofair you stinky pants.


A word of advice to the crooks……. sometimes when there is no answer to a knock, when there is mail in the box, when the lawn is not cut, when the lights are all out……I am waiting inside and I am armed. Been there done that


hahahaa,Jim….at least I’m not the only one.Never mind the dog…beware of owner. Love that expression on their weasel faces when you wait ’till they’re too far from a hiding place when you hit the floodlights and expose them. Let them dig a nice hole before you call the cops….IF you call the cops. A bear trap inside the doggy-door can be amusing ,too.

K. aka Kel
K. aka Kel

I like a tip my friend shared about pretending to talk on a cell. Especially in public (at night) if alone and walking to your car,eg. (I would just have anything in my hand and pretend to talk into it if you doesn’t have a cell).
(I loved this sign erected in front of a house: “We’re locked and loaded and there is nothing in this house worth losing your life over.”)

Dennis H. Bennett
Dennis H. Bennett

I’ve been frequenting FOTM for some time, yet never took the time to review your posts on security. Thanks for sharing your VERY valuable tips.


great suggestions! Love the blog.. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a home security system as well