Home burglaries are very common in the U.S. and far more prevalent than any other country in the world. In fact, an intruder enters a home once every 15 seconds in the United States. Trimming back hedges, adding property lighting and installing an alarm system are all ways you can help prevent a burglary, but would you be able to identify a potential thief before he strikes your home? Intruders often scope-out a property before a break-in to give them a better idea of which houses to target. Understanding the warning signs of an impending home invasion could allow you enough time to alert authorities before your belongings are at risk.
Strangers Parked or Working in Your Neighborhood
Most thieves work quickly, as they may have limited time before homeowners return or someone else alerts authorities to their presence. That is why many predetermine the homes and belongings they will target by inspecting the neighborhood and individual houses before a break-in. Keep your eyes open for strange vehicles parked around your home. If possible, create a neighborhood watch system, and alert one another to unusual behavior by people who do not live in the area. Would-be burglars may want a closer look of your home to determine whether you have a dog, a burglary system, or other potential obstacles.
Keep in mind that many thieves are savvy and opt to disguise themselves as workers or business owners. They may go door-to-door posing as a salesperson or arrive at a home in a vehicle marked as a local business. Much of this activity is done in the morning between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., when many homeowners are at work and their behavior will seem less unusual. Not only does this afford thieves the opportunity to select the homes they want to burglarize, but it also provides insight into the homeowner’s usual activity.
Unusual Phone Calls
A thief may plan a break in based on the belongings inside a home, as well as the ease of targeting that home. Burglars usually prefer an empty home free of confrontation. They may call your home phone number — again posing as a business – and ask to schedule a bogus appointment with you during a specific window of time. Others may call and hang-up. The goal of phone contact is to determine when you will be gone, or even better for them – out of town.
Despite your best efforts to protect your personal belongings, a thief may still manage to break into your home. Protect your financial interests by ensuring that your valuables are covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Talk with your insurance agent for more information about coverage for personal belongings.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.