Burglary: Through the eyes of an offender

Ever wondered what a burglar is looking for when deciding which houses to target? An ex offender, who has worked hard to turn his life around, spoke to us about what he would have looked for in the past and how people can protect their homes.

Breaking into someone’s house is quick. I could be in someone’s home within minutes.

I wouldn’t go around the back of houses and I would stick to front doors as I could get in the house so quickly. Anyone walking past would just assume that I’d got a key and let myself in.

PVC doors were easier targets as I would also test the handle first to see if people had locked them properly.

If the doors were double locked I would use as screwdriver to get in. However if people had high quality locks it would be difficult.

Once in the house, I would be in there for 10 minutes at the most, I would look for easy grabs, anything that would be small enough to fit in a backpack or a holdall.

I often made off on foot or sometimes a bike, so I’d grab laptops, jewellery, money, handbags. Anything small that would be easy to sell and easy to carry. You’d be surprised the amount of valuables people would leave lying around in plain sight.

The best deterrent for me, was when a house had an alarm box, a CCTV camera or even a sticker saying there was a dog there, I would automatically avoid it. For me it wasn’t worth the risk.

Also a house with a TV or radio on, any sign of someone in there, I would avoid it. The same applied to houses in the evening with lights on.

To find out more on how best to protect your home from burglary, visit our crime prevention advice section.