What do burglars look for when they want to rob a home?

Monday 09 Nov 2020

After a recent burglary to my own home where I have security screens and dogs, and live opposite a large number  of townhouses where there are cars coming and going all the time, and school children walking past regularly, I wondered why they chose my home? I searched far and wide for answers.  I wondered how I could make my home more secure so next time burglars give my home a miss.  After lots of research I have found some interesting facts about burglaries.

Did you know that:

  • 20.3% of Australian homes have been burgled at some point
  • It takes 75% of burglars less than 5 minutes to enter a property
  • Between 2018-2019, an estimated 2.4% of Australian households experienced a break-in, totalling 231,000. 

What are the main reasons for targeting a premise?

The two main areas for targeting premises are (1) a lack of activity around the property; and (2) the visibility/attractiveness of the property.

Lack of activity is indicated by:

  • Houses that appeared vacant or unoccupied
  • Rubbish bins left outside on the curb
  • No lights turned on inside the house in the evening
  • No vehicles parked in the driveway
  • An overflowing mailbox

Visibility/attraction iss ascertained by:

  • Houses located in an affluent area
  • Houses that had an expensive car in the driveway
  • Any valuable items on display or in view either in the yard on from a door or window

What are the factors that would deter burglars from attempting to enter a property?

  • A barking dog - 61.4%
  • A working alarm system - 49.1%
  • Sensor lights on the outside of the property - 22.8%
  • Lights on inside of the house - 19.3%
  • Grilled windows/doors - 19%
  • An unknown area - 14%
  • Visibility of the property from road - 14%
  • Gates - 12.3%

A lack of security measures around the property is one of the first thing burglars check for when selecting a target. Fake or poorly implemented security systems that could be easily disarmed are not successful deterrents.

Fifty percent of burglars who discover the presence of an alarm while attempting a burglary, discontinue the attempt, while 31 percent will sometimes retreat. Around 13 percent will continue with the burglary attempt.

What is the most common method of entry?

  • Through an unlocked door - 40%
  • Breaking a door or window - 35%
  • Through an unlocked window - 28%
  • Picking or breaking a lock - 20%
  • Other - 15%

For those of who attempt to hide a key in a secure location, think again.  The usual hiding spots, underneath the doormat, under a pot plant or on the windowsill, are no longer a secure option.