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Friday, August 27 2010
Things a 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, 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.
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.
Reader's Digest Contributing Editor Janice Lieberman shared these and
more tips on the Today Show and in
her blog.
From Reader's Digest - September 2009 
Posted by: Chris H. AT 01:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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