In a December 2012 whitepaper from UNC Charlotte Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, titled, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective”, the researchers from UNC examined the decision-making process of 422 randomly selected male and female incarcerated burglars in three states. They found and published information that is useful to residential and commercial property owners who want to prevent burglaries. Some of their findings are summarized below:
Why do they Burglarize?
Mostly it is to obtain drugs and/or money (88% of participants indicate this as their motivation) However they will steal other available items in order to pawn or trade them for quick cash.
What do Burglars Steal?
Participants reveal the items they desire most during a burglary
79% – cash
68% – jewelry
58% – illegal drugs
56% – electronics
44% – prescription drugs
What deters burglars?
The top deterrents that prevent burglars from specific properties are:
- Close proximity of other people
- Lack of escape routes
- Indicators of security (alarm signs, alarms, dogs inside outdoor cameras or other surveillance equipment)
A majority of burglars considered alarms, outdoor cameras and surveillance equipment a deterrent. 60% of those surveyed said the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target, especially among those that carefully and deliberately plan a burglary.
If an alarm was present after the burglary was initiated, half of the survey participants said they’d discontinue the attempt on that property. However it is indicated later in the paper that male burglars are more likely to attempt to disable an alarm if one is discovered on site.
How do Burglars Enter?
Most reported entering through doors and windows. Often they enter through open doors or windows but they also force them open when necessary.
20% report cutting phone or alarm wires in advance of burglary. A wireless signal transmitter will prevent disabling the phone line from the outside.
Burglars’ State of Mind
The UNC paper states that burglars often decide to commit a burglary while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are often under the influence while committing burglary because it helps reduce their fear. In order to reduce anxiety and learn from others, burglars work in groups.
What Can I do to Prevent Burglaries?
Living in a community with active neighbors close by is a crime deterrent, but if you choose to live in a more remote area, video surveillance and alarm systems show criminals you are alert to their presence and actions. Contact Butler Durrell now for a free in home security estimate.
Keep doors and windows locked. Burglars may still force open a door or window, but they should have to work for it, and that action will set off the security alarm if it is armed.
If you have a security system, keep it armed when you are home or away.
Use a wireless security system to prevent tampering to disable the alarm system from outside. Most security systems can be converted to wireless, so call Butler Durrell now 636-324-2002 to schedule an upgrade.
Security alarm systems are valuable tools to keep people and property safer. Contact Butler Durrell Security today for a free security system quote. We live and work here and want to see crime decrease in St Louis and all the surrounding areas including: St Charles, Jefferson, Lake Saint Louis, Ladue, Chesterfield, Wildwood, Affton, Ballwin, Creve Coeur, Clayton, Florissant, Maryland Heights, Shrewsbury, Brentwood, Town and Country, Kirkwood, Millstadt,Webster Groves, High Ridge, Glencoe, Bellville and beyond.