Crime Stats Offer Insight Into Burglaries

Burglary is a fact of modern life.

On average, a home in America is robbed every 14.3 seconds. In 2009, approximately 2.2 million burglaries were committed with police only arresting 12.5 percent of perpetrators. To make matters worse, burglary is a destructive act that costs $4.6 billion in lost and damaged property every year.

The prevalence of burglary and other forms of property crime doesn’t mean homeowners should expect to become victims. With just a little education and knowledge, it’s possible to defend your home against burglars and vandals.

Breaking In and Breaking Down Common Burglary Entry Points

In the defense of your home, information is one of the most valuable assets at your disposal. Many burglars use the same methods for entering a home and these similarities make the defense of your home much easier. For example, 79 percent of burglars use a first-floor window or door to enter a residence. Taking simple home improvement measures to protect just these entry points would substantially improve the security of your home.

Crime statistics and information are also useful in determining areas where security might not be cost-effective, such as the windows on upper floors of houses. In less than 2 percent of residential burglaries, thieves entered through an entry point on the second floor. Since burglars rarely use second-floor entry points for access, homeowners can comfortably focus their protection resources on other areas or needs, such as home improvements.

Ultimately, the security of a home depends on the actions of the occupants. Many burglaries happen because of the carelessness of homeowners. Around 6 percent of burglars gain entry to homes they rob through an unlocked door or window. Exercising common sense is the absolute best protection for your home and property.

List of Common Entry Points for Burglars

  • Front Door – 34%
  • First Floor Windows – 23%
  • Back Door – 22%
  • Garage – 9%
  • Unlocked doors and windows – 6%
  • Second-floor doors and windows – 2%

Home Security Information and Further Reading

Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Clock: http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/about/crime_clock.html
FBI General Crime Statistics: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2010/november/ucrtool_112910/ucrtool_112910