If you’re asking yourself whether there are signs that your house is targeted by burglars, then the answer is: Yes. Indeed, there are some trails and scents lingering and swirling in the air left by would-be perpetrators, and you can sniff out the dangers of your house being targeted by potential intruders. This article will give you insights into how to detect these signs.
Signs that your house is being watched or cased
Lurking strikers and intruders are testing out new gimmicks to get access to any property, and this is becoming a worrying concern for many urban dwellers, especially those who live in secluded houses. Some commons burglary warning signs are listed below:
- Unfamiliar vehicles
- Strangers walk around your street or neighborhood
- Door-to-door scams
- Flyers or stickers
- Toilet excuse
- Strangers requesting help with different excuses
- Strange markings around the house
- Strangers taking pictures & walking away
- Your gut feeling
- Other possible signs
Unfamiliar vehicles: New cars on your street or neighborhood
Unfamiliar vehicles loitering around the neighborhood will surely raise concerns, especially when the vehicle sticks around over an extended period of time and repeatedly shows up on an irregular basis.
Initially, it’s advisable to take note of the license number and document any possible information, including time, date, make of vehicle, description of the person for future reference, more importantly, secure your property with a decent video surveillance system.
Strangers walking aimlessly around your street or neighborhood
People who live in the same community, neighborhood, or village should be familiar with each other. Strangers pretending jogging in the street or walking down the block back and forth should set off a red flag – house casing. Notice any irregular pattern in your street. Cross-reference any suspicious activity with your surveillance system footage.
Some burglars could do surveillance around the neighborhood by pretending to be a salesman of a utility company, a handyman offering free roof repairs or free carpet cleaning, an anonymous survey, or asking for money and donations from various organizations. All this is done with the purpose of casing your property.
Many door-to-door scammers are trying to case houses and find out who lives in the home, what time the house would be empty and for how long, what are their weekday schedules (weekends are too unpredictable), what they drive, is there a dog, a hidden key and so on. Front door security cameras are recommended to record evidence of door-to-door scams.
Mark the house with flyers or stickers
Burglars will scout potential targets for strikes by sending out commercial flyers or sticking ads around the streets, with which they determine whether the houses are guarded or not.
If you deal with these agitating flyers in a timely manner, it is possible that you’re being targeted for a future robbery. Therefore, it’s necessary to have decent surveillance security cameras around your house, especially around entrances, front doors, driveway, garage, and patios. You can even use 4G-enabled security cameras to monitor parts of the house where WiFi is out of range, like the backyard, detached garage, or parking areas.
Many new homeowners might fall for the tricks used by strangers conjuring up an excuse to use the toilet but meanwhile walk away with some valuables of yours. Or some morning joggers will approach your house for a cup of water or use of the restroom, which could also be an excuse to get a sweep on your property.
If you are concerned with unwanted disturbance, politely reject them and offer alternatives but be sure not to open your door wide open to offer any glimpse of your house.
It’s recommended for homeowners to always direct them to the nearby public toilet or by saying that your water system is malfunctioning or your restroom is temporarily occupied. Or you just simply say no.
Strangers request help with different excuses
Some thieves or burglars will knock at the front door asking for help, say, a glass of water, use of your bathroom, looking for a missing dog, needing directions or confirmation of certain things like an ad on Craigslist.
They normally would knock at the door at a time when people are not expected to be home, they will knock on doors around mid-morning and mid-afternoon when most of the housewives are out running errands or out picking up kids in the afternoon.
Strange markings around the house
A recent revelation by police in Scotland about alleged marks used by a burglar is shockingly unsettling but might require extra attention if you happen to stumble on these strangely-looking signs.
A ring of professional burglars marks potential targets while canvassing your neighborhood by using seemingly random signs, in which they tell their members whether or not the houses are easy targets.
Strangers taking pictures and walking away
With the ubiquity of cameras on smartphones, people can snapshot anywhere anytime, which can give rise to a new type of concern: canvassing neighborhoods with only one click.
If you happen to run into someone, such as joggers, walkers, paperboy, or handymen, taking pictures outside your house or neighbor’s house intentionally, or weaving back and forth from one side to the other taking several pictures of each house, please stay vigilant.
Notify your homeowner association, local police, or neighborhood if there are any suspicious activities. Document any suspicious activity via your surveillance security system.
Your gut feeling
A glance at certain strangers, mysteriously and magically, makes you feel something is off instantly, which could be the trigger for warning or sign for further precautions.
Someone who is fidgety, horsing around in unknown streets, and interacting with people with minimal eye contact are possible would-be burglars, especially during rainy nights or stormy nights. Of course, there are many other signs you can pick up to determine whether your house is being watched or cased.
Other possible signs
There are many other possible signs that your house is marked or cased and homeowners should be extra cautious, for example, some homeowners may find that their welcome mat outside the side door was flipped upside down or a golf ball was left on the front lawn.
Home burglary statistics
According to the FBI, a home burglary occurs every 13 seconds in the U.S. There are common points of entry that are more vulnerable to burglary, theft, and break-in.
- 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
- 23% of burglars gain entrance through a first-floor window.
- 22% of burglars broke into a home through a back door.
- 9% of burglars enter a home through the garage.
- 4% of burglars get into a home through an unlocked entrance.
- 2% of burglars enter somewhere on the second floor.
How to prevent your house from being targeted and burglarized
Thanks to a survey on how burglars break into houses conducted by KGW’s investigative team on 86 inmates currently serving time for burglary in the Oregon Department of Corrections, we get a better idea of how and when burglars break into your house, what they are looking for and what homeowners can do to avoid houses being cased or burglarized.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Buy security cameras for entries and make them visible
- Make the house, front, and backyard visible with good lighting
- Trim your bushes and trees regularly
- Put bars on your windows and door
- Have TV or radio on when leaving home
- Know your neighbors and alerts police if anything suspicious
- Install an alarm system
- Set alarm notifications via your smartphone. If there’s motion detected in certain areas of your property, then you would get a notification.
What to do when your house is being cased
Interestingly and surprisingly, many break-ins and home invasion can be avoided and financial loss could be substantially reduced if homeowners have some security systems in place, report suspicious people around the neighborhood, and alert local police.
- Keep recordings or notes of suspicious activities such as times of the events, makes of possible vehicle, the appearance of the people in question;
- Notify neighbors about suspicious activities;
- Inform local police if necessary and requires extra patrolling on the areas;
- Improve your home security by installing home security cameras/security systems;
- Reinforce doors/windows or other possible entrances
If you have a security system in place, make sure to scan through recorded footage security cameras regularly and pay extra attention to the abnormality inside and outside the house. Therefore, it’s important to have extra pairs of eyes on the lookout for you whether you are at home or away on holiday. Final word: Have some sort of surveillance security system around your house.