If You Have This Type of Home, You Could Be the Perfect Target for A Burglar

A burglary takes place in the United States every 18 seconds, according to ProtectAmerica. With this particular type of crime happening so frequently, it’s important to be aware of the things that could be attracting burglars to your home. Let’s take a quick look at the types of houses burglars target, including the most common way burglars break in (page 8), according to a former burglar.

1. You live near someone who’s been burglarized

Burglar breaking into a house via a window with a crowbar

Burglars may strike again. | iStock/Getty Images

If a house in your neighborhood has been burglarized and the person was never caught, there’s a good chance the burglar will come back to hit another house. Additionally, SheKnows says if you’ve been burglarized before, chances are another thief will find you an equally appealing target as the last person. So you may even be hit repeatedly by different people.

Next: Your home may be in danger if you live in a touristy neighborhood. 

2. Homes in high-tourist areas

two tourists with a map

Lots of strangers in the area means a higher risk for your home. | beer5020/iStock/Getty Images

If you live in an area that’s a popular destination for tourists, you may be more susceptible to being burglarized. If you live in a place where different people come and go all the time (tourists), burglars know you’re accustomed to seeing strangers in the neighborhood. And if you’re accustomed to seeing strangers around your home frequently, then it may be more difficult for you to sniff out who’s suspicious and who isn’t.

Next: Investing in this could keep your home from being burglarized.  

3. Poor outdoor lighting

Front door of house with lights at night

Make sure the outside of your home is well-lit. | Siri Stafford/iStock/Getty Images

Not one for a fully lit front yard? If you live in an area that could be susceptible to burglaries, you probably should be. Global Security Experts suggests investing in motion-activated lights. “It is true that lights cannot stop a criminal in the physical sense. They can, however, have a powerful psychological effect that can give a would-be intruder reason to stay clear of your home.”

Next: You may be surprised to learn a front yard that looks like this can attract burglars.   

4. A cluttered lawn

Fences help burglars hide. | iStock.com

Burglars look for homes with lots of things to hide behind in and around the house. If you have lots of bushes, trees, or a high fence that blocks their entry point, you may make an easy target for a burglar.

“What they aren’t fans of are prickly landscaping and anything that makes noise, like rocks or gravel,” says SheKnows.

Next: If your house backs up to a forest you have a greater chance of being targeted.  

5. You live in a low-traffic area

Beano's Cabin

Secluded homes make great targets, too. | Beano’s Cabin via Facebook

If you’re the last house on a street before a wide open field or forest, you could be at greater risk of being burglarized. Burglars want to minimize the chance someone will see them, so if your home backs up to nature instead of another house, you can make a good target.

Next: If cars have to slow down when they drive by your house, you could be burglarized.  

6. Homes near a stop sign

House Indianapolis

You don’t want burglars to be able to scope out your home from their cars. | Trulia

Homes near a stop sign are in danger because it gives thieves a chance to drive by your home slowly and scope out the area (as well as track your habits). Other areas at risk are homes near street lights or on a sharp corner. According to SheKnows, corner homes may also be less visible to neighbors and police, depending on the layout of your neighborhood.

Next: Make sure you take care of this little detail before you leave town. 

7. Your mail is piling up

Woman checking her mail

Get a neighbor to collect your mail. | iStock.com

Burglars will often look for signs that point to a target being away for an extended time. If you have mail piling up, trash cans that haven’t been brought back in, multiple newspapers on your welcome mat, and an overgrown lawn, you’re basically advertising to the neighborhood that you’re out of town. Ask a neighbor or family member to collect your mail and take care of your trash cans.

Next: The most common way for burglars to break in

8. You have window air-conditioning units

Air conditioning unit in window

Your air-conditioner makes it easy to get in. | iStock.com/Jupiterimages

If your home doesn’t have central air, window air-conditioning units are an absolute life saver. Unfortunately, they’ve also been known to act as an entrance point for burglars. A former burglar told Fashion Beans, “This was by far the most common way to gain access by my friends. Kick in the A/C and climb on in. If nothing of value was found, the A/C could be taken in for scrap metal.” Try putting bars around your window, protecting where your air conditioner is.

Next: A little discretion goes a long way.

9. Obvious signs of wealth

desktop computer on wooden desk

Don’t place your computer in the window’s view. | iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

If you buy a brand new flat screen TV, don’t put the box next to the trash all week before trash day rolls around. Keep it inside until the garbage truck pulls up. Burglars are looking for obvious signs of wealth. They don’t want to waste their time in a house with nothing worth their while. So don’t advertise any of your new toys if you’re wary of being burglarized. Additional precautionary measures include not keeping computers near windows and keeping jewelry well-hidden.

Next: Renters are more at risk than those who own their home.

10. You rent instead of own

Apartment building in Davenport, Iowa

Make sure the security in your building is top-notch. | Zillow

Renters are more at risk than people who own homes because they often don’t have as effective security. Though living in an apartment or renting a home with close neighbors is likely to protect you from burglaries simply due to the potential for witnesses, if you’re renting with minimal security you might want to change that.

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