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Keeping Burglars At Bay: Debunking Myths

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Friday September 18, 2020
Keeping Burglars At Bay: Debunking Myths

Recently, the news has made it seem like our homes are not safe and while the Chernov Team does not believe we need to live our lives in fear, this represents an opportunity to discuss some of the myths surrounding burglaries and provides an opportunity to discuss how best to protect your home.

As an initial matter, the FBI notes that residential burglaries account for around 70% of all theft crimes, the average burglary lasts between 8 and 12 minutes, and the average loss per burglary comes in at about $2,000. As such, it is not fear mongering to debunk some widely held misconceptions about burglary.

The first myth is that the majority of break-ins occur in the evening; when you really think about it, this assumption actually defies logic. First, most criminals don’t want to get caught; their best chance of getting away with a burglary is not to be seen. Second, most criminals don’t want an altercation; they can’t get injured if nobody is home. As such, most burglaries occur during work and school hours (e.g., 10am – 3pm).

The second myth is that most burglaries involve doors or windows getting broken, this is also not the case. Burglars do not want to be seen, and making noise draws eyes to them. Most burglars “case” their targets before making their move and find “soft targets” that wont require much effort; at the end of the day, burglars are looking for the path of least resistance. Thus, burglars target homes where it appears that the owners aren’t diligent in locking all their doors; sliding doors to your backyard are prime targets, since people get comfortable and assume it’s safe to keep those doors unlocked.

Finally, your “beware of dog” sign isn’t deterring anybody. If you have a vicious dog, that’s very unfortunate for the would-be burglar, but most burglars aren’t going to take your word for it. More importantly, burglars have met dogs before and know how easily they can be distracted by food (again, assuming Fido isn’t actually a guard dog, which the burglar will find out pretty quickly if he’s casing your home).

Circling back to what burglars are trying to accomplish, it’s easy to understand what kinds of deterrents will actually work. Burglars don’t want to be seen or heard, they don’t want eyes on them while they commit crimes; motion-sensing lights and alarms represent a serious problem for those goals. Burglars want an easy target that’s not home; putting your lights on a timer is a good way to confuse them about your schedule – it’s not worth breaking into a home if you have to keep guessing. A Ring doorbell with a camera will scare would-be burglars off as well, since they have no idea if there are more cameras around (and you got a look at them if they went to your front door to discover your Ring doorbell). If you’re smart, you can simply make your home too difficult to break into (a dedicated burglar may still try, but that really narrows down the number of suspects the police will need to look at [e.g., it’s someone who has been in your house and knows it’s worth the risk]).

At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and knowledge of how to keep your home safe is powerful knowledge indeed. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.


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