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Be Prepared: The Truth about Apartment Burglary

There’s never a shortage of stories on the news and around the water cooler about people who had their dwelling broken into. Unfortunately, like much of what we believe about cowboys, punching, martial arts, and giant blue sky-beams, most of our “common knowledge” about break-ins is informed by Hollywood instead of reality — and that needs fixing. So here goes:

Burglaries Mostly Happen in the Middle of the Day
It doesn’t matter if you live in a house or an apartment; your pad is at it most vulnerable when you’re not in it. Burglars know that you’re probably at home at night. They also know you’re probably not home in the middle of the day, because you’re probably at work. Suffice it to say, lock your door when you leave for work. Wait…your door? Yup:

Apartment Burglary Mostly Comes Through the Door (Not a Window)
To understand this, you have to look at the crime of apartment burglary from a burglar’s perspective. These guys aren’t Ocean’s Three — they’re not out there planning the perfect crime against your home. They’re actually mostly opportunists, especially in an apartment setting. They’re not plotting to steal your stuff — they’re plotting to steal stuff. So they’ll go down the hallway, testing doors to see which one opens. Which leads directly to the next point…

Apartment Burglars Want to Take One or Two Small, Pricey Items and Bug Out
Very, very rare is the burglar who is going to walk out of your apartment with something he can’t hide in his pocket. The reasons for this are simple: first, he doesn’t want to get caught by a neighbor (who might know you) walking out of your apartment with your TV in his arms. Second, he can’t run with a TV if it comes down to that. But far and away the most important reason is that…

Apartment Burglary Is Usually Over Within 30 Seconds
Seriously, when your strategy is ‘try every door, see what opens,’ you know you’re eventually going to open a door and find an angry bro with a kitchen knife in one hand and a frying pan in another. So you have to have a story handy to explain yourself — but equally importantly, you have to be ready to dip into an open door, spot the thing you can hawk for drug money within seconds, and get out before the scary man watching the football game can be arsed to get up and check out the weird noise. Of course, that story might also be important, which is why…

Most Burglaries Are Committed by Friends and Family
Apartment or home, the most-likely person to burgle your dwelling is a person who could explain their presence in your house somehow without getting his or her butt kicked and/or the police called. This makes sense given the above paragraph: if you were going to go steal something from someone, wouldn’t you choose someone who would be the least likely to punish you if you got caught?

Most Burglars Will Happily Come Back Again and Again
Again, this makes perfect sense given everything above. An opportunist looking for a quick buck who knows from experience that you’re not home at noon but can explain himself if you happen to be home sick? That’s basically the perfect reason to go try the same door again…and again…and again, until it stops working.

The takeaway from all of this is pretty simple: keep your door locked when you go to work, keep your valuables hidden and far away from the front door, and if you ever find a friend or family member in your apartment unexpectedly, lock your door even when you’re home until they get the message.

Posted on May 15th, 2017 in: Apartment Living with the tags: , ,

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