It’s early afternoon on a fall day, just after the lunch hour. Most homeowners who return home for lunch have already headed back to work, and since school is in full swing, most teens are in the classroom. The neighborhood is relatively empty, but just for good measure, the burglar circling around is dressed as a mailman. In the event that anyone sees him, it’ll be assumed that he’s a mailman delivering packages.

This burglar chose the daytime to strike, because he knows most homeowners will be away. But what is he looking for as he roams through the neighborhood? What are his eyes fixated on? What is he hoping to discover?

An Unkept Property

Are there newspapers piling up on the front porch? Have children’s toys, lawn equipment, and other home goods been left outside? Is the grass untrimmed and walkway full of leaves and debris?

These are the clues a burglar is looking for. If items are left outside, they are perfect for stealing. But if the items aren’t to a burglars liking, at least he knows that homeowner doesn’t seem to care too much about the property. If it’s unkept, that means the homeowner likely didn’t go through the process of installing home security equipment.

Is There Protection Installed?

According to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, 60% percent of burglars will choose a different home if they know home security equipment is installed. If a neighborhood is filled with homes that are secured, they’ll likely choose another neighborhood altogether. Many neighborhood watch groups require members to obtain security equipment per their membership guidelines.

But does your home have decals and signs that advertise equipment? Is the neighborhood boasting neighborhood watch signs? Do you have other signs to promote dogs or other forms of protection?

If you have home security, your equipment should be advertised everywhere you can: windows, doors, yard, and more.

Where is the Home Located? 

Is this a heavily trafficked area? Is it located near the main entryways of the neighborhood? Is there city traffic in this area? Or are is the home relatively hidden from any potential onlookers?

Though a burglar chooses to attack at the emptiest time of the day, it’s likely that onlookers will be roaming the neighborhood, or that your home is located close to central traffic. Consider these variables when you examine the likelihood of a burglary taking place. If you’re home is hidden from any street traffic, all the more consideration to install security equipment.

Is there an Entryway Left Open?

Many burglars are meticulous and have a high-attention to detail. They’ll scope out homes that seem empty, and they will target accordingly. Some go to great lengths to monitor the schedule of homeowners to plan their attacks. But in other instances, burglaries are simply crimes of opportunity.

A crime of opportunity means a burglar saw an opening, so they attacked. Is a door or window left opened? Has a ladder been left outside that can be used to access the second floor of a home? Is the garage door open?

These sorts of errors are common. And oftentimes, they lead to a burglary. Always lock and secure any opening in the home before you leave.