Outsmart the thief: Tips on preventing a break-in


In January, statistics taken from reports in 2016 revealed that car-jackings, home burglaries and robberies dropped by 7 percent  in  Detroit.

Although the number of violent crimes went up marginally, Chief James Craig says the city is making steady progress.

While crime rates reported by the Detroit Police Department reported a drop in home burglaries, over 14,000 incidents were reported in 2016. However, almost every city in the country has incidences of home burglaries and thieves do not discriminate.

In fact, the United States Department of Justice reported nearly two million cases of home burglaries in suburban areas alone around the country.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the median value of items stolen during home burglaries reached $600 with electronics and jewelry being the number one items thieves target.

When asked, thieves often say bright lights and dogs deter them from choosing a particular house. According to Today.com, thieves who were interviewed on their mindset and tactics during burglaries said they often strike in the middle of the day, when the homeowners are likely at work.

Thieves interviewed by WNBC in New York said alarms did not deter most thieves, because the plans usually entail getting in and out within a few minutes before police arrive.

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your family from a home burglary.

  • Make sure your home is properly lit at night. Lights can be a huge deterrent for thieves who are on the prowl at night.
  • Lock all doors when leaving home. This is a basic and simple step you can take to prevent a home invasion.Have a neighbor collect your mail when you’re out of town. Seasoned thieves know an easy target by recognizing signs like this that indicate a homeowner is away.
  • Have a barking dog around. According to a thief who was interviewed by WNBC, a barking dog was one of his top deterrents.
  • Invest in an alarm system. Although it won’t fully prevent a break-in, a loud-sounding alarm may scare off a thief or at the very least, significantly cut the time spent rummaging through your belongings.
  • Lock valuables away. When thieves strike, they have a goal of getting in and out of the home quickly. Valuables locked away in a hidden safe have a much higher chance of staying safe than valuables that are out in the open.
  • Make sure windows are locked. Many people often forget to lock windows after leaving them open during a nice, breezy day. An open window is just as good as an open door for a thief.
  • Place security stickers and signs which are highly visible to anyone who approaches your home. Even if you don’t own a security system, stickers and lawn signs sold by home security companies can be purchased on the internet.
  • Purchase home or renters insurance. In the event that a burglary does happen, investing in an insurance plan is a small price to pay in comparison to the potential monetary loss from a break-in.