There’s four main words used to define the crime of something being stolen from someone: Theft, larceny, robbery, and burglary. For our current purposes we’re only covering burglary, which is a crime that involves theft, but by definition it means that a suspect entered a structure or dwelling with the intent of committing a crime within it.

Interestingly, nothing actually has to be stolen for a burglary to occur. The act of unlawfully entering a property is enough, even if there wasn’t a forced entry.

The likeliest threats for burglaries are homes or businesses, but how do the two differ?

Home Burglaries

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2014 says burglaries of residential properties accounted for 73.9 percent of all burglary offenses.

According to a UNC Charlotte Study, 58% of burglaries take place during the day, a stat that directly speaks of home burglars who look for times when no one is at the house. 

The preferred place of entry is the front door, but windows, back doors, sliding doors, and sometimes second floor entry points are at risk as well.

Business Burglars

Burglars are most likely to strike a business at night, during store closing, or early in the morning. These burglars are looking to commit their crimes when there is the least amount of customer traffic.

Businesses are most vulnerable at their windows. Special glasses and heavy metal window screens are sold for windows and doors to add extra layering of protection, but they won’t fully protect from incidents.  

What are the Similarities?

Home and business burglaries have more similarities than one might think. They’re both very costly, a burglar is likely to strike the same place twice, and prevention methods are similar for both.

Lights

In both instances, proper lighting, and additional lighting will deter anyone burglars from making an attempt on a property. It will also give neighbors or passersby a better view of the premises in case an event occurs. More light means less shadows for concealment.

Lighting when no one is present, especially at businesses is important. For a home, this could just mean a porch light or front room light. But since most business have large, facing windows, lighting can alert on-lookers of entry.  

Locks

Some burglaries are “crimes of opportunity.” A door, window, or garage was left open and a suspect acted on it. Even if you’re stepping away for a few moments, make sure every possible point of entry is locked and secure.

Clean Up

Homes or business that are well kept, and absent of large bushes will remove hiding places for burglars. It’s important not to let newspapers, mail, or other things pile up outside of the property. Outside items aren’t common for business, but at homes, don’t leave valuables out.

If you’re leaving for any period of time ask a neighbor or friend to keep the place tidy for you.

Home Security, and Equipment Ads

One of the biggest deterrents for a potential thief is a security system. They are invaluable in both homes and business, and seeing advertisements of alarms placed on a property will scare off a would be intruder. Place signs on lawns, windows, et cetera to let them know their is a line of defense.

Every 15 seconds a burglary occurs in the US. They amount to over $4 Billion in property losses, and over $2,000 on average a to the UNC Charlotte Study we cited above. 

Whether you are a home, business owner, or other properties, taking the proper safety precautions can keep you out of harm’s way.