Home security is an interesting field. Though many home security experts have some law enforcement experience, a few enterprising ex-cons have also made names for themselves. Former cops often have trouble getting into the mindset of a successful burglar while the insight offered by former bad guys can be invaluable.

Case in point: This anonymous interview with a recently caught burglar. In an exclusive interview with Austin-based Fox7, the former criminal details how burglars pick their targets and what homeowners can do to defend themselves.

“The [homes] that are the most vulnerable, I think, would be the working class neighborhoods with older homes,” the unnamed burglar said (his name was withheld due to concerns about reprisals from former associates). “[People in those neighborhoods] have jobs and go to work. I feel bad for saying that.”

How Burglars Pick Their Targets

When selecting homes to rob, burglars look for whatever information is available. Trash is an excellent indicator of whether a home is occupied or not. Some burglars will even go through trash to see if any big purchases have made recently.

Most tactics burglars use to find potential targets are more obvious. Open blinds can let burglars know when you’re not home. Shockingly, many homeowners still fail to lock their doors and windows before leaving. Burglars will walk up to a door and either knock or attempt to open it. If someone answers, the burglars simply offer to mow the law or perform some other simple maintenance work.

Once inside, burglars don’t waste any time.

“Four minutes. Get in, get out,” the recovering burglar said.

What Burglars Are Looking To Steal

A typical burglary can be worth anywhere from $200 to $2,000.

“[We] pretty much have buyers lined up in the black market ready to purchase something from us,” he said. The easiest items to sell are flat screen televisions, the burglar added.

Along with electronics, burglars are looking for jewelry, power tools, and even CDs. The best items are not particularly unique and can’t be traced back to a particular owner. The anonymous burglar clearly knows what he’s talking about, he told Fox7 that he and his partners committed nearly 100 burglaries in the Austin area.

In the future, he hopes that his victims can forgive him.

“If I ever get a chance I would like to meet with them face to face and tell them I’m sorry,” he said.

How to Protect Your Home from Burglars

What’s the best way to deter burglars from attacking your home?

“Right off the bat, if they don’t have an alarm sign in their front yard,” the burglar said. “A home is a lot more attractive.”

Nationwide, that sentiment holds true. Homes without alarm systems are three times more likely to be robbed than homes with alarm systems. Wireless home security systems are affordable options for protecting your home and they can seamlessly incorporate security accessories, even after installation. Security accessories, like home security video cameras, have been provided police with evidence that has lead to the capture of numerous burglars.