Burglary. The very word sends shivers through your spine, especially if you have ever been a victim. If you know what it’s like to experience those incomparable feelings of anger, shock, violation and vulnerability, then you probably already understand why a good home security plan is so essential. But if you have never experienced burglary firsthand, you—like so many people out there—might be complacent, assuming that it won’t likely happen to you. Consider these startling statistics, and see for yourself why this all-too-common scourge demands to be taken seriously.
Did You Know…
- A home invasion occurs every 13 seconds in the United States, with more than 2.5 million burglaries occurring each year. Burglars commonly steal cash, jewelry, consumer electronics, firearms and power tools.
- In 2010, just over one million burglaries were attributed to forcible entry. An additional 600,000 burglaries were attributed to unlawful entry (entry without the use of force). If you leave your doors or windows unlocked, you’re practically asking to be burglarized.
- Also in 2010, a total of 127,251 reported robbery case involved a firearm, and more than 129,000 cases involved the use or threatened use of physical violence. This represents a small percentage of total invasions, but it’s all the more reason to ensure that you have a quality home security system with 24/7 monitoring.
- The top 10 most burglarized cities are Cleveland Ohio, Toledo Ohio, Memphis Tennessee, Detroit Michigan, Cincinnati Ohio, Indianapolis Indiana, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, St. Louis Missouri, Tulsa Oklahoma and Oakland California. Of course, a burglary can happen anywhere, so even if you don’t live in Ohio (which, apparently, burglars are quite partial to), you should always be diligent about your home security.
- The most common means of forced entry is to kick in the door. If you don’t already have one, install a security door made from solid wood, metal or fiberglass, and reinforce all other points of entry.
- The majority of burglaries are committed by males under the age of 25. Some of these kids are motivated by drug addiction, others by financial hardship, and others by greed. Which leads us to our next point…
- Eighty-five percent of break-ins are committed by non-professionals, and the majority of these individuals scope out the easy targets.
- Only 13 percent of burglaries are ever solved, and only about 15 percent of stolen property is ever recovered. So hide the jewelry and lock down those consumer electronics.
- What are some of the most common tools used to commit a home invasion? Screwdrivers, pliers, pry bars and hammers. Not exactly the high-tech burglary swag that you typically see in heist films.
- It’s not all bad news. Between 2001 and 2010, U.S. robberies decreased by 19.7 percent, and between 2009 and 2010 alone, burglaries decreased by 10.5 percent. The outlook may seem bleak, but the long-term statistics actually show a continuous positive trend).
Don’t Become a Victim
If all this burglary news sounds a bit frightening, take heart. You can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim by simply installing a quality home security system and exercising common sense. For instance, post plenty of signs warning potential intruders of your home security system (even if you don’t have one yet), don’t allow mail and deliveries to pile up while you’re away, and make sure to install additional security reinforcements like deadbolts and windows bars. Remember, the vast majority of burglars are amateurs in search of easy targets, and the more difficult you make it, the less likely you’ll come home to find a crime scene in your living room.