Understanding burglars: When and why they strike

In the realm of home security, understanding the mindset of a burglar can be your strongest defense. Contrary to popular belief, burglars don’t usually pick homes at random. Instead, they look for specific signs and times that make a property an attractive target. By being aware of these factors, homeowners can take proactive steps to deter potential break-ins.

house robbery

Peak Times for Burglaries

Certain times of the year see a spike in burglaries. Notably, the days surrounding August 15th, December 25th, and New Year’s are prime times for break-ins. Why? These are periods when many families are away on vacation, leaving their homes vulnerable.

Why holidays are attractive to burglars:

During holiday seasons, many families travel, leaving their homes unattended. This provides an opportune window for burglars to strike without the risk of encountering homeowners.

The Art of Scouting

Before making their move, burglars often engage in a reconnaissance phase. This involves discreetly observing potential targets, sometimes for days, to gather valuable information.

What are they looking for?

Burglars aim to understand the daily routines of the occupants, their schedules, and any extended periods of absence. This information helps them plan the perfect time to strike.

Choice of Neighborhood:

Interestingly, burglars tend to favor areas with higher burglary rates. In such neighborhoods, their activities blend in, reducing the risk of drawing attention. Affluent neighborhoods are also attractive due to the potential high-value loot. However, burglars tend to avoid homes near police stations, surveillance cameras, or watchful neighbors.

External Signs that Attract Burglars

Certain external cues can inadvertently signal to burglars that a home is an easy target.

Common signs include:

– Overflowing mailboxes
– Stacks of newspapers
– Overgrown lawns
– Open windows or doors
– Lack of security measures

All these signs can indicate prolonged absence, making the property a prime target.

Protecting Your Home

To deter potential burglars, homeowners should consider implementing visible security measures.

Effective deterrents include:

– Alarm systems
– Surveillance cameras (even fake ones can be effective!)
– External lighting

These measures can make your home less appealing to burglars looking for an easy target.

Be Cautious Online:

In today’s digital age, oversharing on social media can be a security risk. Announcing travel plans or extended absences can provide burglars with the information they need. It’s always best to share vacation photos and updates after you’ve returned home.


Understanding the mindset and tactics of burglars is the first step in safeguarding your home. By being aware of the signs they look for and implementing deterrents, homeowners can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a target. Remember, the best defense is a proactive approach. Secure your home, be cautious about what you share online, and always stay vigilant.