Helpful Hints from a Burglar

burglar helpful hints Given that it’s the holiday and vacation season, the need (sadly) to protect ourselves against crime is up.


There’s pressure to procure amongst both law-abiding citizens and criminals, alike. Shoppers are everywhere and gifts are in plain sight in your cart, the backseat of your car and in your home. Indeed, statistically, during the months of November and December, shoplifting, car break ins, fraud and burglary all increase.


The following helpful hints from a burglar’s point of view are therefore worth forwarding:


  • You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
  • Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
  • Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
  • Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.
  • To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.
  • Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
  • Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
  • Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
  • If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
  • If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
  • A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
  • It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
  • I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)
  • Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
  • Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

Have a happy and safe holiday!

burglar helpful hints


  1. Butch Solis on December 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Point #2 Look for associated equipment. If you see someone with only a rake…be suspicious. There should be a trashcan, trashbags, a leafblower, a truck with a trailer that contains mowers, rakes, blowers, gas cans etc. A lone man with just a rake? Be suspicious and call a cop!

    Point #4 Don’t use Facebook to announce anything, unless you are shareing a recipe.

    Point #6 and #7 Before letting delivery or service men in your house, attempt to conceal or secure out of site any valuables. Close and lock doors to rooms that they have no business in. Have your weapon on your hip,take pictures of the workers in your house and make it a point to let them know (in a joking manner)if something does come up missing, they are my first suspects.Conduct a sweep of your house after they leave to make certain all windows and doors are locked.

    Point #8 Don’t leave any gaming systems in plain site. if you have the time. remove them and store them out of site. It takes less time to hook them back up as appose to getting them replaced.

    Point #13 Always answer front door with cell phone in hand. With the technology everyone has these days, no one should ring your doorbell asking for directions. If they are offering services door to door, State to them, I’ll call you if I need any services, please give me your cell number…and call it while they are there. Take a picture of them, look to see what they are driving and who else is in the vehicle, does vehicle have company name? Take a picture of the vehicle. Call the Police Dept and advise them of the suspicious incident…chances are they may have received other calls on same subjects who offered different services or asked for different directions which would be suspicious; and place them on a BOLO to stop and question.

    Suggestion: Think like a thief…then defend against it. “If you think your security is foolproof, then you have failed to appreciate the ingenuity of fools”.

    TAKE CARE! Butch

  2. Michael Hooper on December 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Great advice!! Keep it up, you’re doing a good job. I’m in the industry nearly 40 years and your hints are spot on!

  3. Ben Jackson on December 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Great advice, especially the Pizza trick, I would have never thought of that! I will be on the lookout for that

  4. LiBa BenDer on January 6, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Thank you for all the helpful hints.
    As coordinator of our neighbourhood watch, am sharing some of your ideas.

    Be safe, and be careful.


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