Burglars use the term casing a house to describe their process of choosing a target. They will often observe multiple homes for hours before picking one, looking for patterns in the homeowners' behaviour. Once they've picked a target, they'll focus on the neighbourhood to see if it fits their casing profile. This allows them to determine the best way to enter the home.
Several factors might make your home more attractive to burglars. If your home is located in a quiet area with few neighbours, or if it is difficult to see from the street due to trees or bushes, you may be more likely to be targeted. Burglars often look for easy targets, so making your home less visible and more difficult to access can help deter them.
Here are nine signs you need to watch out for:
1. Some Strangers Are Walking the Neighbourhood Streets
The first difference is that the burglar will be looking around carefully, taking note of all the houses and any potential security measures that might be in place. They will be looking for easy targets they can quickly break into without being detected. The second difference is that the burglar will usually be carrying some tool, such as a crowbar, that can be used to force their way into a home.
2. A New Car You've Never Seen Is Parked on the Street
If there's a new car on the street, it's probably being used by a burglar. Most burglars use a car to get to the home, either their own car, a family member's car, or a stolen car. If you see a new car on the street, watch it closely. If you see a car that makes you suspicious, make a note of the license plate number and call the police. This way, you can provide them with information that may help them catch the people responsible for any crimes committed.
3. A Stranger Is Taking Pictures of Your House
If you see someone taking pictures of your house, it's probably a sign that they're planning to break in. Burglars will take photos of the home to show their associates where it is so they can break in. If you see someone taking pictures of your house, take a picture of the person to help identify them later.
4. You Find Markings on the Sidewalk Near Your Home
The burglar's companion is the person who is going to help the burglar break into your home. The burglar will usually mark the sidewalk in front of your home with a simple X or one straight line to alert their companion that your home is the one to rob. If you find a target in front of your home, you should erase it and ensure multiple people are home for the next few days.
5. A Stranger Approaches Your Home Randomly
If you notice someone hanging around your neighbourhood who seems out of place, it could be a sign that they're casing homes in the area. They'll look for easy ways to get in, whether there's anyone home, and what kind of valuables are inside. If you see someone casing your home, call the police.
6. Someone Leaves Flyers on a Few Select Doors
Burglars will often put flyers on homeowners' doors to scope out the house to see if anyone is home. If the flyer is still on the door, the burglar knows that no one is home and can break in without being seen. So, if you find a flyer on your door, remove it immediately and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.
7. Some Solicitors Are Knocking on Doors
Burglars often use knocking on doors to determine if a house is empty. By dressing like a solicitor and carrying a clipboard, they can fool people into thinking they are real solicitors. The goal is to determine who is home at what times during the day. Most burglars using this method will rob the house the next day. However, others will find the first door that no one answered and then try the door handle. If the door is unlocked, the burglar will walk right in.
8. New Joggers Are Passing By Your Home Often
If someone jogs by your home multiple times, it might signal that they're casing the joint to see if it's a good target for a burglary. This is especially true if they're checking to see if home security systems are in place. If you see someone doing this, it's best to call the police.
9. A Stranger Comes Up to You Because of an Emergency
If you're ever in this situation, it's important to remember not to let a stranger into your home. This is a common tactic used by criminals to gain access to homes to rob them. If you have any doubts about the stranger's story, you can always call the police to verify it.
A burglar will typically scope out a home before breaking in to see if there are any valuables inside. They may also open a back door or window to make it easier to get into the house later. If someone comes to your home and asks to use the phone, it is best to keep them on the porch.
If you believe thieves are scouting your home, it is best to take precautions. Be on the lookout for any telltale signs that your home is at risk, and then take steps to secure it. If you have a home security system, make sure it is activated. You should also have someone staying in your home at all times to deter burglars. If you have a dog, allow them to roam freely in the yard and keep watch over the property.
If you notice any telltale signs that a burglar is casing your house, it's important to take action immediately. These signs include strange cars or people loitering in your neighbourhood, windows and doors that have been forced open, or broken glass near your home. If you see any of these signs, call the police and be sure to secure your home as best as you can.
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