KGW Portland surveyed 86 Oregon inmates serving time for burglary to see what they looked for when casing a house that is safe to break into and likely to contain valuables. One important lesson: "NRA sticker on car bumper = Lots of guns to steal."
Inmates also said that they'd steer clear of houses with large dogs and with audible radio/TVs. They preferred to break in between 12:30 and 2:30 PM ("when anyone that was home for lunch should be gone by then and most kids should all still be in school"). Noisy security alarms scared burglars off, but signs warning of them didn't necessarily work. CCTVs were a mild deterrent, but also an enticement (they "also likely signaled there were valuables inside the home").
Houses with cheap wooden doors were a favorite, especially if they were isolated from their neighbors (tall shrubs make good cover).
Most burglars started by searching the master bedroom for valuables, then moved through the rest of the house.
“Everywhere! From the stove and freezer, to the fish tank and toilet tank, book shelves and in boxes of cereal,” said an inmate.
We asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes
[Kyle Iboshi/KGW Portland]
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