Have you ever thought to yourself, “hmmm…I wonder if someone is watching my home?” If the answer is yes, don’t worry, you’re not paranoid. Odds are that someone – maybe even a professional burglar – is watching your home like a hawk and planning their next heist. Burglars are pretty good about doing their homework. Yes, that’s correct – even burglars have to do their homework in order to succeed at their craft. Whether it is making note of the daily patterns of the residents, scoping out potential entrances, or figuring out when the massive Dobermann next door tends to nap. So is there a way that we can spot these potential burglars watching for an opportunity to break into our house? Is there something we can do to stop them before they even consider it?
Who Are Burglars?
Burglars don’t have a particular mark or physical profile. They can be male or female. They can be a wide range of ages (read about more burglar myths here). What burglars are, though, is familiar. Many burglars find lines of work that grant them access to your home. Maybe they were here last week to fix the plumbing. Maybe they used your bathroom yesterday when they were doing yard work. Maybe they were walking around passing out flyers (and trying doorknobs). It might be that person who has suddenly started walking their dog around your block every day.
Here are some other signs to watch for:
- Strange vehicles parked on your street for an extended period of time
- A stranger walking around taking careful note of their surroundings
- Requests for help that involve entrance to your home (some water, use of bathroom, use or charge their phone)
- Professionals who have worked in your home
Of course, much of the time, it will be innocent, and that is what we want. We want to be proven that people around us are no cause for our suspicion. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It is not recommended that you shut yourself off from trusting anyone in your community and the world around you. However, knowing that these are common positions that burglars take when watching your home, allows you to be more aware of suspicious behavior when something fishy does come up.
What Are They Looking For?
We’ve interviewed many burglars in the past. Here is a list of things that they commonly look for when searching for a suitable target for their next attack:
- How often do you really lock the door and set the alarm when you leave the house?
- Does the bathroom have a window that could be discreetly unlatched?
- Are there expensive children’s toys left out in the lawn or very expensive landscaping around the house’s exterior? This informs the value of what might be inside the house as well.
- Cluttered doorsteps, full mailboxes, and unkempt lawns are all signs of vacancy.
Consider these things when living in and around your house in order to make it less of a target to burglars.
What You Can Do
So what do you do if you really think someone is watching your house?
- Maintain and regularly arm your home security alarm system.
- Close and lock your doors every time you use them, including garage doors.
- Secure your ladders and tools. Don’t give your burglar an easy way in.
- If someone approaches your property or enters your house, call the police immediately. Don’t try to detain them yourself; your possessions are not worth your life.
Keeping good home security habits as well as careful vigilance around your house will keep you and your household safe. Knowing these signs of burglary targeting keeps you aware and alert about your situation. Taking steps beforehand to prevent this crime spares you unpleasant surprises later.