Why Burglaries Happen and How You Can Prevent Them

Dashia Starr
Updated Mar 10, 2021
2 min read
Why do burglaries happen? The truth is, they happen for various reasons. Oftentimes, we think that the goal of burglaries is to take our most prized valuables and expensive possessions. Surprisingly, though, not every home intrusion is because of burglary and theft. Here’s what you need to know about burglaries, how they take place, and how you can help keep your family safe.

Burglaries By the Numbers

The FBI defines burglary as using forcible entry with intent to commit a felony or theft. The latest FBI data shared some surprising findings of burglaries in the U.S. 

  • Burglaries account for 18.2% of property crimes. 
  • Over half of the reported burglaries used forcible, unlawful entry. 
  • On average, people lost $2,416 in a burglary. 
  • 67.2% of burglaries occurred on residential properties.

Why Do Burglaries Happen?

We checked in with a few field experts to get their thoughts on other reasons why break-ins happen. Andrew Jezic, Founding Partner of The Law Offices of Jezic & Moyse, shared a few common reasons that are often overlooked. 

“Most burglaries are, indeed, motivated by the need for quick cash, often for drugs or alcohol. Drug abuse is one of the prime motivators for home invasion crimes,” Jezic shared. 

He added a few other reasons including revenge from an ex, gang initiation, and sometimes just for the thrill. 

Another attorney, Ken Eulo of Smith & Eulo Law Firm, echoed Jezic’s thoughts on the need for quick cash and drugs. He also added one additional reason — assault. 

60% of rapes occur during home invasions. Aside from the quick cash that spurs drug addicts and other bad actors to commit burglary, sexual and other assaults are the most likely motivations for a home invasion,” he shared. 

Other personal reasons could include greed — leading to stealing what they want. There are also concerns of anger or rage leading to break-ins as a form of expression. These emotions may not always lead to targeting the person who evokes these feelings and sometimes could be towards innocent families.

How Can I Prevent Burglaries?

We can’t control the actions of criminals, but there are a few home security measures we can take to make burglars think twice. 

The best way to reduce burglaries is to install a home security system. Most systems are equipped with entryway sensors to chime or sound an alarm if a door or window is opened. Many also include motion detection to alert you of any activity when your system is armed. Providers also offer professional monitoring to alert specialists of any suspicious activity and call emergency responders to your home if needed. 

Another helpful way to keep an eye on your home is to install indoor and outdoor security cameras. Today’s surveillance equipment makes it easy to check on your home using your smartphone. You’ll receive motion-triggered alerts if there’s any activity while you’re home or away, and you can see live footage from the camera provider’s mobile app. 

If you’re not ready for a security system quite yet, there are some easy, expensive DIY home security gadgets to add to your home, including door jammers and a peephole. Some equipment is also designed to be wire-free and easy to install in hotels or dorm rooms. Keep in mind that you won’t have professional monitoring or mobile app control if there’s a burglary or real emergency. Here are a few other tips to help keep your family safe: 

  • Install outdoor motion-triggered lights to illuminate dark areas outside your home to give thieves fewer places to hide. 
  • Keep your lawn tidy by trimming bushes and keeping plants low to reduce hide-out spots. 
  • Never post on social media when you’ll be away. Some criminals may be watching your profiles to plan the perfect time when you’re away. 
  • Always keep doors and windows locked before you leave or go to bed. 
  • Install a safe to hide cash and valuables that thieves may be looking for. 
  • Consider other loud deterrents including dogs and alarms to scare off thieves.

The True Value of Home Security

It can be scary knowing that a burglar might try to break into your home, but the precautions mentioned here can offer peace of mind to uneasy homebodies. When you know that you have protections in place, you’ll be able to spend less time worrying about safety and more time enjoying your home.

Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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