Most of the time, they’re not “breaking” in at all
“Most burglars aren’t using ladders or ropes or digging holes to get into your home,” says Emily Patterson, a home security expert for ASecureLife.com. According to her research, an overwhelming majority of burglars enter homes through the doors and windows. Thirty-four percent use the front door, while 22 percent get in through the back door. Twenty-three percent use first-floor windows. And oftentimes, those doors and windows aren’t even locked. Even items in your yard can be a target for burglars. “The overwhelming number of burglars are unskilled people who go through open or unlocked windows and doors,” says Leonard Sipes, the former director of information services for the National Crime Prevention Council. “Simply locking windows and doors will prevent most burglaries.” There are, however, some more creative ways that sneaky crooks use to bypass locked doors and windows. These are some of the ones home security experts – and homeowners – have experienced.
They use the land
A secluded backyard is a burglar’s dream… and can be a homeowner’s nightmare, as it was in the case of Brian Shell. Burglars broke into his home in January 2017. “It was done via my back window, which faced a lake, so [there were] no backyard neighbours bordering it,” Shell said. One of the burglars threw a mouldy tree log through the window to keep their fingerprints off of it, and climbed into the house through the broken window – so burglars are willing to use whatever’s around to break in and maintain secrecy. “My backyard is pretty secluded,” Shell said. “That’s what helped them.”
They climb fences
Seclusion was also the problem for homeowner Nancy Gretzinger. At her former home, which was broken into multiple times, “there was an empty lot and cemetery behind the house.” Several houses in her neighbourhood had fences in the backyard with wooden slats, which burglars were easily able to climb to access her property. They broke a window leading to her kitchen and climbed in.