Personal Finance 

How to Get Burglars to Rob Your House

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Hail to the Thief!Being robbed is almost never a good thing. The idea of someone breaking into your home, rummaging through your stuff, and taking all the choice bits… it’s unpleasant. Most people who have been robbed will tell you that the worst part isn’t the loss of stuff, that can be replaced, but the loss of their feeling security. But what if you wanted to be robbed?

Why would you want to be robbed? Let’s say you wanted to sell all of your possessions. How long would that take? A week? A month? Imagine if you could sell it all in one day for $500? Would you do it? If the answer is yes and you have insurance, skip the pleasantries and just get robbed!

Anything of value will be gone, you won’t even need to pack it, and you’re only on the hook for the deductible. Think of it like a non-traditional garage sale. So how do you entice a burglar to come rob your house? It’s remarkably easy!

Leave Valuables in Plain Sight

Push your expensive television by the window so people who walk by can see it. There’s a reason why stores put their best stuff in the window displays, to entice shoppers. Take a page from the department store playbook and make your home an attractive prospect for “shoppers” passing by. Robbers hate going into a home and finding out the TV is one of those heavy tube TVs from the 90s. Make sure you put your new light LCD by the window and, for good measure, tape one of those new iPods to it.

Take No Precautions When Away

If you go on any long vacations, anything longer than a week, don’t stop your mail. Don’t ask your neighbors to mow your lawn or take flyers from your door or mailbox. Burglars look for signs that a home has been unoccupied for a long time and the two telltale signs are an uncut lawn and leftover flyers or mailings, make sure you don’t take steps to hide the fact that you’re away.

If you are planning no trips in the future, just go for a long weekend and leave some junk lying around. Flyers stuck in the door plus an LCD in the window… that’s a doorbuster if I’ve ever heard of one.

Hide A Spare Key

No one likes a broken window or a busted door. Burglars know they’re noisy and messy, homeowners know it’s an unnecessary expense. So leave a key hidden somewhere nearby. The best places are under large conspicuous rocks near the door or underneath the doormat. There’s no sense forcing a robber to break a window or kick down a door, those are expensive to replace. Leave a key someplace convenient and you can spare yourself the heartache of paying for a new window or door.

Leave A Note

Just stepping out for a minute? Waiting on a package but you’re not going to be home? Leave a note to say when you’ll be back, that way thieves will know how much time they have. Oh, gone to the store and you’ll be back around 5:00 PM? Awesome, better snatch what I can before 4:45… or better yet, 4:55 since you’ll probably be late with traffic and all. Just don’t be early, you want to give the shoppers as much time to browse without having them feel rushed.

Leave a Status Update

It seems innocuous right? “Hey everyone, going to the beach for the weekend!” is just a note to your friends that you’re going to the beach and they’re staying at home (nyah nyah!). Unfortunately, it’s also an invitation for a burglar to come rob you. How many people do you trust on your Facebook friends list? What about on Twitter, where anyone can see your messages? Do you have your name listed on your account? How about the city and state you live in? This is especially important if you have some unsavory characters on your friend’s list from Mafia Wars.

If you do all of the things on this list, you are almost guaranteed to get robbed. If you aren’t robbed, there are only two reasons: 1) you live in too nice an area, and/or, 2) you don’t own anything worth stealing. In either case, unfortunately you may have to go with one of the more traditional ways of getting rid of your stuff.

(Photo: Bonard)

{ 33 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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33 Responses to “How to Get Burglars to Rob Your House”

  1. billsnider says:

    Very entetaining, but deadly serious post.

    There was one habit my family had to break. We use to leave the front door open to let air come in. We also tended to drop keys, handbags and wallets on the steps when we came home. In our neighborhood we had a rash of robberies from this practice. People would walk up to the front door and look to see if this stuff was there. they would then snatch it in seconds and noone was the wiser. I always keep the front door closed now.

    Then there is the old fashion way. A friend had his back door smashed open. They inserted a craw bar and simply broke the frame. Not fancy, but it worked.

    Bill Snider

  2. cubiclegeoff says:

    I wonder how many robberies are done by individuals that know the person they’re robbing at least a little. I think the facebook/twitter thing is big, especially if you have kids that have thousands of friends that they don’t know. Nothing like a group of status updates that say “I got a new PS3 and a new flat screen.” “I just got $500 for my birthday.” “We’re going away for a week”

  3. Shirley says:

    A true story and a lesson learned:
    If you are in the back yard and no one else is in the house, lock the front door.

    Even the neighbors won’t think anything is amiss if they see someone ring the bell or knock and then the door open for them.

  4. zapeta says:

    I take the status update one pretty seriously. My girlfriend loves to let everyone on earth know when we are going somewhere. I finally convinced her that it was not a good idea. Other than that we are very conscious of the other signs that we are away.

  5. Funny post, but as others have said all are serious problems that many of us do. We really need to be cautious of these things since they put our homes in danger of getting broken into as well as our families safety.

  6. bArlington says:

    First, adopt a dog. Dogs do more to thwart home theft than just about anything. And they are so cute and cuddly.

    Second, be worried about more than your status post. Do you have your birth date on facebook? Do you have your actual address or your telephone number. It probably takes three pieces of information to steal your identity. Dont make it easy – dont use your birthday – use a fake one – or conceal it. And dont put up Personal identifiable information. Your friends know who you are already.

    Finally, if you really wanna be freaked, go see

  7. Frank says:

    Make sure to leave your porch light on all day. Just screams “NOBODY HOME”.

    • Shirley says:

      Light sensors and timers are invaluable for thwarting robberies. A sensor for the porchlight (on at dusk, off at dawn) all the time, and inside near windows close to front and back entrances when you will be away. A timer can turn a radio on and off when you are not home. Burglars much prefer empty quiet houses.

  8. ziglet19 says:

    Don’t forget leaving the giant box your brand new TV came in down at the curb so everyone knows you have a brand new, expensive TV. Break the box down and put in it in your trash can, if you are able to.

  9. Saul says:

    As far as the status updates, the same was said of telephones and answering machines decades ago. People love those stories that play into basic fears and require very little consideration, and the media loves them because they draw attention and take little to no journalistic research.

    Have you read the story where a facebook status was actually used as an alibi against an alleged robber?

  10. jsbrendog says:

    this post was awesome.

  11. BulletMagnetEd says:

    ROFL This post was a hoot. Personally, I pity the fool that tries to break into my house. I have firearms, no impulse control, absolutely no respect for human life (especially criminal swine) and I never go anywhere because I have fiber Internet. On the other hand, if I wanted to divest myself of some unwanted baggage, this seems like a how-to article of some utility. 🙂

  12. Ice Man says:

    I’m a former burglar. I never broke into a home that I did not scout for a week or more. If there was a dog in the home then I moved on to another home. A few of my associates would only pass on a home if the dog was large. (Over say 40 to 50 pounds) A smaller dog can be picked up and locked in a dresser drawer or closet. Larger dogs are incredibly strong and very quick. If they are able to even bite you once you will be in a world of hurt. If you get bitten you will likely need medical treatment and dogs bites just like gun shots wounds must be reported. That brings unwanted attention. Don’t waste your money on alarms systems. Get a dog!

  13. Dave Clark says:

    People, people, people…….You are not being robbed, you are being burglarized. There is a big difference. Robbery is when the valuables are taken off your person.

  14. Ice Man says:

    If you are burglarized by a true professional burglar you might never know it right away. Their entry and exit will not cause any damage. They will not destroy or damage anything in your home. They will look for a cash stash or jewelry that won’t likely be missed right away. The more time the burglar can put between the crime and the discovery the better his chance of not getting caught. He won’t carry a gun or any weapon as he does not plan to get caught and if confronted by a neighbor or someone else he will have a plan to explain his presence. He might be carrying business cards of a contractor and is doing an estimate to repaint the house but only if the house does need repainting.

  15. I actually walked in on a burglar when I was in high school. Luckily for me, he took off running. I almost chased after him, but thought better of it.

  16. Unfortunately the only time my apartment was broken in to and when my guy was robbed at his old residence, we were both HOME. I never leave evidence of my absence for that very reason, but there are no guarantees. Some thieves dont care if you’re there or not.

  17. eric says:

    Total win. lol.

  18. Erik says:

    I was burglarized once in college. There were me and 3 other roommates, but they did it in the morning on a Sunday. We thought that was weird, and 6 months later our former neighbor got busted with a bunch of stolen stuff in his house. So, sometimes, it can be the most unassuming people that break into your place.

  19. Wilma says:

    Excellent article. An empty computer or TV box is definitely a welcome mat for would be thieves. If I’m doing yard work out back I look both the front and back door. Paranoid? Yea. Maybe. =)

    • billsnider says:

      No you are not. As I stated above, we have had many, many robberies in the past in my neighborhood with people coming up to the front door pretending to sell something and quickly snatch wallets, etc from the steps just inside the house.

      Bill Snider

  20. Obi Juan says:

    Hmmmm, promoting insurance fraud! This guy should be brought up on charges himself. What an idiot.

  21. I got burglarized once.

    I was moving. I moved the majority of my stuff on a Friday and left behind a vacuum cleaner, cleaning supplies,and some snacks. I was coming back on Monday to give the place a good cleaning.

    You guess it. They ate my M&Ms and drank my can of Pepsi. I might have convinced myself that I hadn’t left any snacks in the apartment – but they left the empty Pepsi can in the fridge – and I wouldn’t have done that.

    The only thing of any value – the vacuum cleaner – was untouched.

    • Amanda says:

      I mean, if that happened to me I’d HAVE to laugh. A lot. Pretty hilarious. Glad they didn’t take the vacuum or the cleaning stuff!!

  22. Josh says:

    This article must be some kind of legal loophole for a burglar now. Defense attorneys are citing this now, lol! 🙂

  23. DDFD says:

    Funny take on this . . .

    A little common sense, will save you a ot of heartache!

  24. Zazarunao says:

    Very good, loved it!

  25. aaron comer says:

    being robbed is a good thing haha 😀

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