COLUMBUS, Ohio – Many homeowners take steps to protect their property.
Whether it is installing a security system or owning a dog, most homeowners believe they would never become the target of a burglary.
The Columbus Division of Police says that it is exactly why you may become a target.
The police department interviewed three convicted burglars on what they would look for when targeting a house.
All the men interviewed say they would knock on the door of a potential target before going ahead with the plan.
If someone answered the door, the men said they would make up a story about either cutting the grass or ask for someone.
“If the people in the neighborhoods were more aware,” said William.
William said he would knock on a potential target’s door, and he would make up a name of someone he was looking for if someone came to the door.
He said neighbors should ask questions and try to tear apart a stranger’s story.
“Can you describe them? Do you have the right street? I mean, ask questions because the conversation is going to reveal itself,” William said.
Joel said another key is making sure all the windows and blinds are closed if you are not home.
He said if a burglar can’t see big-ticket items in a home, they are less likely to go through the trouble of breaking in.
“It does work. If you’ve got everything deadbolted and alarms and everything like that, then a person’s not going, he don’t wanna have to take the time to try to get that, especially if you can’t see in there,” Joel said.
The thieves said they would go into a home any way they could, including basement and second story windows.
“Most burglaries are done from opportunity. It’s not something that’s calculated, some are but most burglaries are random,” said William.
Adam said he would target nicer homes with expensive cars in the driveway, knowing that probably two people lived in the home, meaning there was more variety in items.
Usually, they would take guns, jewelry, stereos and cash.
The burglars said alarm systems, dogs and deadbolts would deter them from a home.
William said if you do have an alarm system, you may want to purposefully set it off so people know it is there.
“If I hear it, man, that house got an alarm,” he said. “Them little signs they put out, sometimes, well most times, it’s a decoy because I’ve done it and I was a burglar.”
Authorities say more than half of home burglaries occur during the day.