Things A Burglar Won't Tell You

By Scott Sarvay

October 25, 2010 Updated Oct 25, 2010 at 5:43 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Since police officers consider robberies a crime of opportunity, what better way to protect yourself than to know how a burglar finds that opportunity. The list from Reader's Digest included information pulled from interviews with over 100 convicted burglars.

#1 on the list of things a Robber won't tell you is he worked in your home recently, perhaps cleaning carpets or delivering an appliance, some even left a window unlocked to aid in their theft.

Also, some thieves used yard toys left out as a sign that an expensive gaming system could be inside.

Maybe most important, stop newspapers that could be a dead give-a-away that you're out of town, some thieves also leave pizza flyers to see if they're collected.

If it snows while you're away, thieves also pick up on a lack of tracks, that's where a neighbor could come in handy.

Some burglars are more aggressive and will actually knock to see if you're home, saying they'll ask for directions or offer to do an odd job is someone answers.

The burglars confirmed they almost always check sock drawers, dressers and medicine cabinets and the research also found that a loud TV or radio left on can actually be a better deterrent than some alarm systems.

Indiana State Police Sergeant Ron Galaviz told us the list is helpful and homeowners need to enlist the help of neighbors to eliminate a number of burglar opportunities.

Then there's social media, its explosion has also aided burglars, with some sites producing a live feed of people posting when they're away from home.

Sgt. Galaviz says, “They're putting information about their flights and travel details on there, what a perfect opportunity if you were a would be robber."

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.

Next Monday we'll take a look at some online tips that could save you money.

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