You might think a burglar is a genius plotting and using lasers to break into your home like the movies, but what actually happens during a burglary is different from this new age image. We’ve rounded up the most-surprising home burglary facts and statistics so you can take essential steps to keep your home, belongings and loved ones secure.
1. Most burglaries happen in the middle of the day.
You’d imagine burglars would crave the cover of darkness, but in a 2016 burglary victimization survey, the most common time burglaries occurred was between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Nighttime burglaries—between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.—accounted for only about 17% of all burglaries. Burglars know they’ll draw less attention walking around a neighborhood or apartment complex during the day versus at night, and they know most people are at work during the day, leaving them free to slip in and out of a home uninterrupted.
Safety Tips: Always keep your doors locked when you’re not at home. It’s also a good idea to lock your doors when you are at home during the day, especially if you’re working, napping, or doing anything else that might make it hard for someone to tell you’re there. It also doesn’t hurt to leave a car parked in a conspicuous place outside. Most burglars are less likely to mess with a home that’s occupied. With a smart lock integrated in to your system this task can be automated to keep you connected and protected.
2. On average, a burglary happens once every 23 seconds in the US.
According to 2017 crime statistics from the FBI, there are almost three burglaries every minute in America, making it the second-most frequent crime behind larceny-theft. When you add it up, that’s 3,757 burglaries a day.
3. The average burglary victim loses $2,416.
According to the FBI, if you get robbed, you’re likely to lose about two months of rent or mortgage or a couple weeks’ pay. For most people—especially those living paycheck to paycheck— that’s a difficult loss to recover from. And it’s just one of many damaging effects of a burglary.
Safety Tips: Many victims of burglary say the reason they weren’t better prepared for the theft is because they rent their home or apartment, and they felt limited on the amount of security measures they could take without breaking the lease. Fortunately, even if you’re not an owner there are plenty of things you can do to secure an apartment. Wireless security systems and cameras, door jammers, and even curtains can reduce your risk of being burglarized. Renters or homeowners insurance is also a good failsafe to protect you against loss.
4. Burglars head straight for the bedroom.
In a 2017 study where professional burglars were given a virtual burglary situation, they all bypassed downstairs living areas and headed straight for the upstairs bedrooms where they gathered jewelry and cash. Rather than carting off TVs and other bulky electronics, they grabbed anything of value that would fit into a pocket, so they wouldn’t draw attention as they exited the home.
5. The Front Door
Many people think a burglar would never be brazen enough to simply walk through the front door, but it is one of the most common entry points for thieves. Seasoned burglars know exactly where to look for the spare key that you’ve “hidden,” and if they know you’re not home, many thieves will simply kick in the door or remove it from its hinges. About 40% of completed break-ins involve forced entry, but 32% of burglaries were through an unlocked door.
People commonly forget to lock their doors, or have a key within easy reach of the lock, making the front door a surprisingly common target for burglars.