5 signs that your home is being targeted for burglary

Burglars are rarely just opportunists. The experienced criminal will often do his homework, researching the area, the street and even the house he has targeted, to ensure that his crime spree goes without a hitch.

While most of us don’t like to think that we are being watched, the stark reality is that most burglaries are not simply spur-of-the-moment, and that we have actually been singled out as a prime target.

There are subtle signs that you can watch out for to see if your home, or that of your neighbours, is being targeted for a potential break-in.

Strange vehicles on your road

man driving at night searching targeted property
Suspicious looking vehicles in the area should never be ignored

An unknown vehicle parked outside your house, or cruising slowly up and down your street, should certainly signal alarm bells, particularly if you live in a quite area. The vehicle may be parked for an extended period of time, or seen returning frequently at random times of day and night. Take note of the type of car and try to note its registration details if you are suspicious.

Strangers walking the street

man watching house
Strangers seen in the area frequently could cause alarms bells

Walkers and joggers are easily identifiable as they wear appropriate attire, however if someone appears to be walking particularly slowly, lingering or taking more notice of his surroundings than is needed, it could signal suspicious activity.

Requests for help

knocking on door
Strange callers requesting help aren’t always legitimate

Often, a request for help is genuine, however occasionally it may be an attempt for someone to get a better look at the inside of your property. If a stranger comes to your door to ask to use the phone, the bathroom or to request a glass of water, make sure they do not have unrestricted access to your home. Criminals will also request access to your home and then unlatch a convenient door or window for their return visit later on that night.

Building work was recently done at your home

workman laying tile
Burglars will often have a day job that provides access to homes

It’s not unknown for burglar’s to have jobs that allow them direct access to the inside of people’s homes. For example, landscape gardeners, door-to-door salesmen and handymen all gain legitimate access and can easily get an idea of what you may have that is worth pinching. If these people turn up again unannounced, chances are you have been targeted and they were trying to catch you out and the house empty.

Unknown markings on your property

Burglar code
Known as the ‘Da Pinci Code’ burglars will often mark prime properties for others

Burglars don’t usually work alone and will often use codes to mark your property prior to a break-in. Look for unusual markings on your walls, doors or even on your wheelie bins. These markings allow burglars to communicate with each other to let each other known which properties are easy to break into, which have valuables inside and house vulnerable occupants.

Protect yourself

Which? Magazine recently conducted a survey with 100 ex-burglars and found that 70% are put off by monitored burglar alarm systems. What better way to protect yourself, your family, your home and your possessions than to install a monitored burglar alarm?