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Security Infographic: A Burglar’s Quest

A Burglar's Quest Infographic

Security Infographic Tells Us a Lot about Burglars

According to the security infographic above, in 2010, every 15 seconds a home was hit by burglary. Fortunately for homeowners there is enough research out there to help you avoid becoming the next victim. Below we will take a look at some of the most recent statistics on home burglary including: how robbers prefer to enter homes, what they prefer to steal and when they are most likely to strike. We will also offer the top five ways to deter burglars.

Who is the Average Burglar?

There are always exceptions to ‘averages’, but through analyzing the bulk of burglary cases, profilers are able to create a picture of the ‘average’ home burglar. The majority of home burglaries are committed by young males under the age of twenty five.

Where Do Burglars Strike?

Most burglars will break in to houses that are close to their own home (within a couple of miles). There also seems to be varied burglary trends by geography (West vs. Midwest vs. South vs. Northeast). Just 10.8% of burglaries take place in the Northeast. 20.7% of burglaries take place in the Midwest. 47% of burglaries take place in the South (which includes Texas in this assessment). 21.4% of burglaries take place in the West. Out of all United States burglaries, 73.9% occurred within residential properties.

When Do Burglars Strike?

Burglary Statistics by Month

Statistics show that the majority of burglaries occur during the summer months of July and August. Most people believe that this is due to school vacations being during these months. During school holidays families are most likely to leave town for extended periods of time leaving their homes unoccupied and unprotected. Houses are least likely to be burglarized during February.

Burglary Statistics by Time of Day

The majority of home burglaries take place between 10am and 3pm. These are the times when most homeowners are at work and their children are at school, leaving burglars more time to scout around vacant homes for items of worth. There are also fewer neighbors around to catch them in the act. During 2010, 821,897 burglaries took place during daylight hours, while night-time break ins were almost 50% fewer (443,717 burglaries took place at night).

What Do Burglars Steal During Burglaries?

It makes sense that burglars are more likely to steal items that are easy to carry so that they can load up as many items as possible and make a quick getaway. It is also much easier for burglars to sell smaller stolen items than it is to steal large, big ticket items. In 2010, over $13 billion USD of property was stolen in home burglaries across the nation. Unfortunately for homeowners, only 21% of property that was stolen was actually recovered.


$1,150,000,000 (Yes, that is BILLIONS!) worth of money was stolen during home burglaries in 2010 alone. Only 3.2% of this money was ever recovered.


In 2010, $950,000,000 worth of electronic products were stolen. Only 4.2% of these items were recovered.


2010 saw $1,550,000,000 of jewelry stolen in burglaries. This makes up the largest value portion of all break-ins in 2010 across the U.S. 4.2% of stolen jewelry was recovered.

Clothing and Furs

$250,000,000 worth of clothing and furs were stolen in home burglaries in 2010. 11.5% of these products were recovered.

Office Equipment

$725,000,000 worth of office equipment was stolen during 2010 home burglaries. 5.1% of these items were recovered.


During 2010, burglaries valued at $130,000,000 worth of firearms were stolen. Just 8.4% of these stolen firearms were recovered.

Household Goods

2010 saw $325,000,000 worth of household goods stolen in residential burglaries. 3.3% of these goods were recovered.

Consumable Goods

$225,000,000 worth of consumable goods was stolen during 2010 home robberies. 7% of these items were recovered.

What Types of Homes do Burglars Strike Most?

Burglaries are most likely to occur in single family homes that are located in the middle of a block. Burglars are not as likely to burglarize corner homes and two story single family homes as they are to strike single story homes.

How Do Burglars Enter Homes?

Most homes offer a wide variety of entrance points to burglars but some entry points are preferred over others. 34% of burglars enter homes through the front door. Most often homes with wooden front door jambs are opened by kicking them in. 23% of home burglars get access to the home through a first floor window. 22% of home burglars use the back door as an entry point. 9% of burglars access homes through the garage. 6% of burglars gain access to the home through unlocked entrance and storage areas. 4% of burglars access homes through the basement. 2% of burglaries take place through second story windows that are left open or unlocked.

How Long Will a Burglar Spend in a Home?

The average burglar will only spend between 8 to 12 minutes inside the home. The aim of any burglar is to get in and out of the home with as much goods as possible in as little time as possible in order to avoid getting caught.

What Rooms of the Home do Burglars Target?

With such a short amount of time to access homes and take what they want, burglars often head straight for the rooms where homeowners generally keep their valuables. One of the first rooms that burglars head to is the master bedroom because it is generally where jewelry, cash and personal safes are located. Once in the bedroom, the burglar will look through dresser drawers, closets, desks and safes in order to find big ticket items. Other commonly targeted rooms are the home office or formal rooms that may feature collectibles or electronic items.

What Advice Can Ex-Burglars Offer Homeowners?

Jeffrey Strain, SavingsAdvice.com blogger asked a former burglar where he should hide his valuables in his home in order to avoid losing them in a burglary. The burglar responded with a few helpful hints:

  • The burglars aim is always to steal your money and your valuables AND get out of the house as soon as possible.
  • If a burglar cannot locate valuables or money as soon as they look in ‘popular’ areas of the home, they will most likely tear the home apart until they find something of value.
  • When keeping money in the home it is always best to keep a small amount in obvious places where burglars can find it and be satisfied. The rest of your money kept at home should be stored somewhere that is not an obvious hiding place (perhaps a messy child’s room or in an envelope underneath the trash can?).

Security Improvements That Can Help to Protect Your Home from Burglary

Since home invaders are looking for easy burglaries, there are a number of things homeowners can do to make their homes less appealing to burglars.

  1. Place secure locks on windows and doors and remember to lock them. Having secure locks in your home isn’t going to have an impact if you never lock them.
  2. Install and maintain a home alarm system. The mere presence of a house alarm system proves enough to deter a number of home intruders, but in order to truly be protected these systems should be paired with monthly monitoring.
  3. Have a secure and bolted down safe. Safes are a great way to keep valuables hidden and protected but smaller safes can easily be carried out of the property.
  4. Install motion-sensored lighting. Motion-sensored lighting keeps property well lit something that burglars shy away from. The better the light outside a home, the more likely a neighbor is to spot or identify a home intruder.
  5. Maintain shrubbery and vegetation. Having overgrown bushes and other vegetation outside windows and around doors provide burglars the opportunity to hide from homeowners and neighbors. Not only can this vegetation be used to lie in wait for homeowners to leave the house, but they can also be used as camouflage while ‘jimmying’ windows.
  6. Operate interactive home automation to turn off and on lights. Lights lead one to believe that home owners are in the home, especially when they can be seen turning off and on during the evening. Thanks to z-wave technology, home automation can now be seamlessly tied in with your alarm system for added home security.

Being Proactive Helps Prevent Burglary

Of course there is no definitive way to prevent burglary, but taking some of the preventative methods mentioned can reduce your likelihood of becoming a victim. Just a few small changes at a minimal cost can decrease your risk of burglary exponentially. These changes can also decrease the cost of renters or homeowners insurance premiums, something every home dweller should have. Even with the ‘safest house on the block’ these insurance programs ensure that not all is lost.


This infographic was created by Muhammad Saleem and produced by Rentersinsurance.com.Sources for the infographic and this article include: Burglary Prevention, Protect America Home Security, Saving Advice, Crime Doctor, ASecureLife.com, and the FBI.


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23 responses to “Security Infographic: A Burglar’s Quest”

  1. Nice article – thanks for the great info. We hear about burglaries every day in our line of work. But worse than that are the murderers… if they want to get into your home – not much can stop them and they’ll do it while you’re still there.

  2. Yes, I was robbed about the time this post came out, last year, 2012.
    Yes, they were between the ages of 20 and 22.  It was a guy and his girlfriend.

    They spend over 6 hours, according to the video I retrieved.
    No, the police won't do anything, but, hire a private detective, and follow the teachings of Bernard Goetz, and we can rid society of a few of the Generation Y, or Millennium Generations and their lack of respect ways of robbing people.  Revenge is sweet!

  3. What scared me about this article was burglaries taking place from 10 to 3.  I can see why they do this, because no one is home, however, being a stay at home mom, it's scary. 

    In my old apartment, I lived in a reasonably safe neighborhood in a pretty mellow town.  Well, I had my patio door open to the screen part so a breeze could come in and air out the house.  One of the things I didn't like about this place was that it was on the first floor though. 

    However, I did have a boyfriend at the time, but he worked on the road a lot which left me by myself a lot.  Well, this car full of young people about my age was sitting outside of my patio door, and I just got a bad feeling. 

    My dog was barking, and they were still sitting in the car like they were scoping the place, when I came out of the other room.  They just looked at me, talked for 5 minutes and drove away.  I instinctively thought they were aiming to break in, now I know they probably were.

  4. First of all, I love infographs because they make it so much easier to take in a lot of information without having to read a lot of technical information. Because the information covered in this infograph is so important, I really do think that it could help keep more people safe. With this graph, people can quickly discover information about the average burglar, when robberies take place, the most stolen items, and more. If this were in article form, it would take pages and pages to write up all the information.

    Something that occurred to me, probably because I work from home, is how self-employment has affected burglary rates. With more people home during the day, it has to have affected the numbers since most robberies occur during 10AM and 3PM. This definitely has to make it harder, even when a robber scopes out the area.

    It also makes sense that so many robberies occur in July and August since most people take vacations during that period. What really surprised me though was that homes in the middle of a row of homes are more likely to get robbed from than those on the end. However, it makes perfect sense.

  5. This article is one of the most valuable pieces that you are likely to find regarding burglaries. The author takes a lot of statistics and information gleaned from reputable sources and then essentially explains them in very clear language. Anyone who is even the least bit curious about why certain homes are targeted and how NOT to become a victim, should read this.

    According to the statistics, the average burglar is male and ranges in age from a teenager to a young adult. Did this surprise you? Me too. I imagine that there is also a certain element who are career criminals and do this more or less for a living. However, by and large, it is younger males who do this.

    This may also be why the most common times for a burglary are between 10 am and 3 pm. Then again, this may just be common sense. After all a burglar ultimately wants to walk in easily, take the good stuff and get out quickly. Coming in the dead of night will certainly increase the chances of people being home.

  6. Most police departments have been keeping fairly reliable statistics about crime and burglary for a number of years. The author of this post has taken a lot of this data and really put it together in a very user friendly form to help us learn a lot of things regarding criminal behavior.

    What kind of information, you might be asking yourself. Well, for starters, how about a profile on who the typical burglar really is? According to the stats, it is actually a teenaged or young adult male. This also may explain why the average time of a burglary is between 10am and 3pm.

    Although these are not what many people would guess when asked about their picture of the typical burglar, it is what the statistics bear out. I think the whole goal of this article is to really make us more aware and take further precautions so that we do not become a target.

    Reading the article will also give you a lot of tips and ideas. For example, knowing that the first room to be burglarized is usually the master bedroom, maybe you will make some changes and move your valuables elsewhere.

  7. The best thing about this article is that the author clearly knows their stuff regarding burglary, burglars and statistics. It is also clear that this person is very interested in helping others by providing a lot of facts and information. In fact, this person even takes the dry stats and then interprets them and weaves a vast amount of tips and helps around all of this.

    There are also a lot of common sense tips as well. The fact of the matter is that many people try to make things like this too complicated, when a simple approach often will work best. Always remember that a burglar is looking for an easy way in and out. The more you can do to make this process complicated, time consuming or difficult for them the better chance you have of not becoming a victim.

    For starters, make sure that all of your doors ad windows have locks and that you use them. You may even want to take a look at the doors themselves. Find a solid door with a good metal core and strong deadbolt at least 1 inch long.

  8. I am serious about the security of my home. When my house was broken into, it made me a basket case until I could take some measures to try to prevent it from happening again. I did a few simple things and I rest much easier now. I can even leave my home without rushing back to make sure everything is alright.

    First off, I got an alarm system so that if I do get broken into, the police have a better chance of doing something about it. I also found some great places to stash my expensive items and cash. I just sat and thought about places that people naturally avoid and the most common burglars. Since most of them are men and they tend to avoid women's hygiene items, that it where I started hiding my money. But I always leave a bit of cash out so they think that's all I have if they get that far.

    I also stopped letting people into my home. I work at home anyhow, so I tend to discourage visitors who would disrupt my work day. Now, I just don't let anyone in unless I have known them for years. Even then, I test them.

  9. The author here actually went out of their way to really compile a whole ton of interesting facts about burglars and burglaries. I think that they really enjoy this topic and are truly concerned about helping to protect people by offering this information. What I enjoyed most about this piece was the fact that it was not just dry statistics, but there was a lot of interesting analysis given, along with some good pieces of practical advice.

    A great example of this was how the author described stolen money. According to the statistics a huge amount of actual cash was stolen during burglaries over the years. Yet, a very small amount of this is ever recovered. The implication here is obvious: if you are ever burglarized and loose cash is taken, it is probably gone forever. However, the author also makes the suggestion of maybe leaving a small amount somewhere out in the open where a burglar would expect to look, but then more in an unusual place. This could be in an envelope under a trash can or in the messy room of a child.

  10. I think one of the most interesting details about this infographic is the percentage by area. I expected areas that housed big cities like Chicago and New York to have a high percentage, but those general areas are actually on the low end of the burglary scale. Maybe there is a higher population in the other areas and I just don't realize it or something?

    I really think this infographic needs to be handed out or somehow given to every person in America. We tend to be too trusting and want to expect the best of people. Sometimes people are not what they seem and they do not come to your home to see you or anything like that. They are just there to case the place and see what they can get from you. I think it is a sad sign of our times when you can't leave your house unlocked in broad daylight without worrying about it getting robbed. Sadly, I don't really think it is going to get any better any time in the near future.

    In the meantime, I keep my doors locked whether I am home or not and I am looking into a home security system for my house.

  11. This article was very instrumental in challenging some of the assumptions I had about who exactly the average burglar really is and what they do. The author has actually taken a very in depth look at some of the recent crime and arrest statistics and then made some very astute observations. Anyone who is interested in knowing more about burglars and statistics will find this piece valuable as well. Knowing all of this information will help you more easily avoid becoming the victim of a burglary.

    I found it very interesting to discover the types of homes that are most often struck by these criminals. Homes that are in the middle of a block are more likely than corner homes to be burglarized. Additionally, one story single family homes are more likely to be hit than two story homes. I suppose that burglars do not want to attack a corner home because it could limit their options as far as a quick escape. Also, it might not be as hidden from the view of the street (or other neighbors).

  12. This security infographic is awesome, but you have to wonder what the numbers are going to look like a year or two from now. The economy is in such bad shape that people who don't normally even think about stealing are looking for ways to get their needs met. It is just awful around here.

    All my life I lived in small towns. We never even thought about locking our doors. If someone would have broken into our home, one of our neighbors would have said or done something. But this economy has changed everything. People used to steal to get something you wanted. Now they steal to get something they need.

    Not only did I never think of locking my doors, but the idea of a home security system never even crossed my mind. Today, I find myself shopping for a home security system that monitors every area of my land and home. I have found myself even monitoring my garden, not because I would not feed someone who needed it, but because the idea of someone creeping around my yard just freaked me out. This infographic just made me see all the details of what I have to worry about and know that they are only going to get worse.

  13. This is one of my favorite infographics – about security or anything really. It is very well put together, attractive to the eye and it offers so much useful information. Aside from the actual infographic, I am blown away by the details of it. I had a very poorly informed thought process about theft apparently.

    I think that this is something every person should be required to take a look at before they ever move out on their own. Young people who are moving into their first home on their own are often naive about the world around them. They tend to trust too easily and want to assume the best of everyone. Sadly that just isn't always the case with the average person.

    For a long time I thought no one would ever steal from me because I didn't think I really had anything that anyone would want bad enough to try and take it from me. I found out I was wrong. Someone somewhere always wants something that you have. In fact, I once had a truck broken into right in front of my house. I walked outside while they were doing it. They stole a $10 bottle of deodorant. They also completely destroyed my sense of security.

  14. This infographic is really great, well done!  Lighting, locks, and landscaping are some of the best ways to deter a burglar from entering your home, in addition to a home security system and the home alarm company's sign. 

  15. Burglars are easily dissuaded from robbing a house. As the article points out so clearly, all a burglar wants to do is get in and out as quickly as possible. This means that lightweight items are almost always the goal, and that a burglar will not want to waste any time. Yes, a burglar will often head immediately to the master bedroom if possible. But burglars are also very likely to stick to the first floor of the house. Going down into the basement or up into the second floor means trouble, because a burglar cannot as easily watch for police cars or returning owners. They also want to try to avoid any work at all, because actually breaking into a house takes time and noise, two things every burglar avoids. So burglars are often dissuaded by locked doors and windows, let alone motion detecting lights and alarms. If you have an alarm sticker on your window, this is often enough to warn most burglars to stay away. Don't make it easy, and it is likely you won't have much trouble, even in the high risk areas.

  16. The demographics behind burglaries are very interesting to me. If the majority of these crimes are committed by young men under the age of 25, can we focus our efforts to try and solve this problem? If the statistics show that the vast number of burglaries occur in the southern United States, can we focus prevention efforts in that area to low the incidence of theft and discourage the practice in general?
    Of course, I understand that burglaries tend to be motivated by desperation and widespread effects such as drug use, poverty, poor housing conditions, and any number of other factors. But at least we know where most of the problems are located. Perhaps it is only a matter of focusing efforts on these areas. I suspect that alarm companies could use these statistics as a method of marketing, if they aren't already. Talk about a ready-made map for you to focus advertising! But in the end I also hope that advocacy groups, governments, schools, and nonprofit organizations take as much advantages as possible of these numbers to create real change. Even if that change involves more frequent police patrols at the beginning!


  17. If you use a home alarm, please remember to also arm it properly, and do not give the code out too freely. In fact, if you can help it, don't give the code out at all to your friends, and keep it relatively safe even within your own family. If your friends become too familiar with how to get into your house, it can become very easy to forget to properly maintain your alarm system. Or, if worse comes to worse, your friends might accidentally give the code to someone who cannot be trusted, and then your alarm system becomes a liability until you change the code.

    On the other hand, you need to balance usefulness with protection. This is where wireless systems come in so handy, so that you can remotely disarm your alarm when necessary and check up on it to make sure it is armed and working properly whenever you need it to be. The automated features also lead to greater control and often allow you to save money by combining several systems into one. For example smoke detectors can be combined with security systems.


  18. There is nothing about theft that is funny, but I have to say, I did get a little chuckle out of the fact that consumable goods were returned. Seriously? Just how did that happen? And more importantly, is the person that desperate that they have to break into your home for a loaf of bread? If they are, that's just a sad sign of the times and our social system in general. Now, tell me, how did they recover consumable goods and why would you want to? Wouldn't you be afraid that they had done something to them? I know I'm not going to eat anything that someone stole from my house and later returned to me or lost to the police when they were arrested. No thanks! Go ahead and keep that sandwich!

    On another note, I found it very interesting that so many of the burglaries that took place did so during the daylight hours. I would have expected them to take place more at night than at any other time. But then, sometimes I think the easiest way to get away with a crime is to not hide it but do it right out in the open. Also, people tend to be at work during the day and at home sleeping at night, so I supposed it's easier to break into a house during the day than it is at night. Or at least it is if you're looking to steal and not to hurt the people.

  19. This is awesome! I mean, talk about pictures saying 1000 words. I don't know who made this, but I love the infographic. And the article has some great information in it too.

    I had to giggle when I read the part about how people keep their expensive items in their bedroom. I would love to see a burglar try to get into mine. My house is being remodeled so my bedroom is like a big closet right now. He would probably hurt himself just trying to find his way out. Oh wait…then he could probably sue me for his injuries and get anything valuable that I had anyhow! Can honest people actually win?

    Listen up though, I do have a hiding spot that most burglar won't get into. I keep a tampon box with a few tampons in it. I can hide just about anything in that box and most people never look in there. Why? Men have some taboo freak out thing about menses and since most of the burglars I ever heard of were men, I figured it was the best spot to hide anything I needed to. In fact, any box that belongs to a feminine product will probably do the same thing. I mean, secure your home, but if you're going to have valuables, just outthink them with something simple. And yes, I do leave a small bit of money in the open to deter them.

  20. I found this information very interesting. I was extremely surprised to find that so many burglars enter through the front door. I was a fan of the series “It Takes a Thief” and was always interested in the different ways they were able to break into the home and how unprotected so many homes across America were. Another interesting tip I discovered from this article was to hide a bit of cash in an obvious spot and the rest somewhere no one would think of. This really got me to thinking about the less obvious places to hide cash and valuables in my home.

    I was also surprised to learn that most burglars are so young and choose homes so close to their own home. Before my boyfriend and I moved into our current home that was under renovation, our landlord found the neighbor's teenage grandson in our home. We have no idea why he was here, but it was unnerving. It really makes you wonder how many people are robbed by people they know and never find out that's who it was. To think that someone you know could be scoping out your home is disturbing. 

  21. I live in a town with about 800 people in it. Growing up, we never once locked our doors. I don't even think anyone had a key because we never had to use it. 

    Then, as an adult I moved back into my childhood home. My son and I went to the movie store in the next town at about 3 in the afternoon. The movie we wanted was sitting on display on the counter, so we didn't even have to spend time looking for it. We may have been gone 45 minutes tops.

    When we got home, our house had been robbed. My laptop, digital camera, change jar full of quarters, credit cards…everything was gone. My son even had a Fantastic Four wallet on the counter and they took it. They didn't take the money out of it, but took the entire wallet. Now what kind of a sick person steals a Fantastic Four wallet obviously belonging to a child?! And that wasn't even the worst part.

    At the time I rarely used my debit card so I didn't even know it was missing….that is until I checked my bank balance. Someone had paid off their cell phone bill with my card. I didn't even OWN a cell phone. But when I called the bank, they wouldn't release the number that was paid for. Why? Because it violated the privacy of the person who owned the phone. Nor would they stop payment. This incident left me so paranoid that I moved out within the month.

    To be robbed is a horrible invasive feeling. Thank you for sharing this information so that we all might better protect ourselves and our families!

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