Important Lessons to Learn From a Convicted Burglar

James is a typical burglar. He will be talking to you about his methods for burglarizing homes.

It is important to remember that although these methods are “typical”, they are by no means the only operating methods of burglars. There are indeed many variations.

James is a 40 year old white male. He has spent nearly one third of his life in prison for a crime he continues to commit each time he is released.

A crime that brings him into your home.

Homes that use this door reinforcement kit can’t be broken into!

A crime that violates your life. Burglary!


Here is his story (words in brackets are ours):

My first concern is whether the home is protected or not. (He means protected by an alarm system.)

My entry is usually the front or the back door. (That’s why you need to protect your home with the best door security devices) I don’t break windows, I don’t like to make noise, and I like a door has an alcove or possibly shrubbery hidden from view. If not, very minimal peripheral vision.

I specialize in UPS delivery service. They will do all the work for you. And if you are unobtrusive in your pursuit, he won’t know what you are doing. I always keep a Mapsco and if I ever get strange look from a UPS driver, I’ll just walk right up and confront him. Say, do you know where such and such is, I can’t find it. He’ll assist me every time.

But UPS does the knocking for you, they post a yellow sticker that can be seen from 100 yards away and to this day I can’t believe they are still doing this. And see UPS starts early, just like a burglar. And when I say you can literally follow him around and pull four a five a day, I’m talking from experience.

Usually the neighborhoods that I like are adult neighborhoods. Hopefully without children, or if they do have children, they are in school.

I use the cars. I see that it’s a two car. A lot of times you go look in the garage. You wait until the sun goes down, you go look in the garage, there are two cars. You come back the next morning, you look and there are nor cars. The adults are gone. From there, its just a matter of technique.

I will look for electric tape, magnets,wire, a lot of people have false impression that a sticker, auto sign for “This home protected by by ADT Security System”, that’s great and it works in some instances, but when you have a burglar who is sincere, I mean this is what he is doing for his living, that sticker is not going to fool him at all.

I have what’s called a burglar’s tool. It is a pry bar made especially for doors. (Once again, protect your home with proven door security solutions.) It will take the whole trim off. You can’t beat it with a deadbolt.

You can put whatever locks you want in there, but really you are just dealing with trim and piece of sheet rock. The bar I use just collapses all of that, without that much of a vigorous effort.

A lot of people seem to think that by leaving their blinds open and their curtains open, you know, accessible view, that’s in my opinion, that’s a misconception. All you are doing is assisting the burglar. He sees a VCR and a TV, takes a look in the kitchen, sees your microwave, or a video cam. He’s going to come in and take it. And you have made it accessible to him.

I will bang on the door if necessary, so if there is someone in the shower, I don’t want a confrontation. I’m not there for physical encounter. I’m there for theft. I will knock loud enough to wake you up. And when I enter, if I’m going around back, I will have the pretense that I’m there for other reasons. I’m reading a meter, you know. I’ had people walk out in the backyard – What do you want? What are you doing here? – and I’ll say, my god, what are you still doing in your home? Don’t you know that we have a gas leak reported here? Let me go call this in, what’s your address? And I’m gone. Confusion is what I try to instill.

Like I say, the front door is my main entry, or that’s where I found out the situation – if the house is alarmed, if there is a dog inside, if it is worth my time. And if so, I will go behind the home, pull into the garage. Most of my burglaries are fenced.

If you get into a half-crouched position, the neighbors can’t see you. I enter the home, make sure no one’s there, open the garage, pull the vehicle into the garage and pull the burglary.

The way I usually do it is I have a partner who works strictly components – TV, VCR, camcorder, stereo systems, the components in the bedroom. I’ll walk right in and take the bedspread and lay it on the floor or a sheet. All the components are going in there. Once they are in there, you tie all the corners together and you’ve hidden your merchandise. You put it in the back of the truck and whether you have shell or not, it’s still hidden, it’s concealed. I strip pillowcases off the pillows, I put the jewelry boxes, the guns and if there’s rifles, I’ll take another sheet and roll them up.

Burglary takes six minutes if two people know what they are doing, in and out. People are consistent. People normally keep the same items in the same place.

If I wanted jewelry, where would I look for that? First thing there is going to be a jewelry box on top of the dresser. If it’s not there, maybe in the bathroom. A lot of people have bathroom closets, with sheets, towels, and there is one for the jewelry. If not, I go to the closets, under the bed, the top drawer of your dresser and usually by then I’ve found it.

Guns? Under the mattress and in the closet, that’s where the guns are.

Cash? It is a rare commodity in a burglary and the times that I have found it, it’s because it was visible. It’s either in the jewelry box, I did not know I got it until later. Or it’s sitting up under nic-nac on top of your dresser or usually it’ll be in the headboard of the bed. It’s where the money’s at.

I work the same hours as most people do. I take off for lunch, I’ll go to work at 8 o’clock in the morning and 11 o’clock is the latest I’ll pull a burglary, and from 1 o’clock until 2, I don’t like to work.

Most people when they have appointments, they are in the afternoon. If they are in the morning, they don’t go to work, they are going to answer the door. The morning between 8-11, those three hours are prime burglary hours.

My mode is when I’m finished with a burglary and have the stolen merchandise, I’m going straight to the the fence. Don’t pass go, don’t stop for a coke, no cigarette. Go get rid of the merchandise. My specialty is having the stuff sold and gone before it’s ever reported stolen. A lot of my stuff goes to Mexico.

So how to beat burglar at his own game?

Close your blinds, close your curtains, leave the stereo on. The best protection you can have if you don’t have an alarm is a dog. A burglar will not mess with you if you have a dog. Your best protection is an alarm (in addition to door reinforcement). The next best protection is a dog inside your house.

And your next best protection is concerned neighbors. If people get together in concern, I bet they could curtail 1/3 of the burglaries that are taking place just by involvement. If I’m pulling burglary and I see somebody walk out of a neighbor’s house and look at me, I’m gone. Obviously, I’m attracting attention and that is not how it goes. When you get in a concerned neighborhood, you usually do not come back. These people are on their job, you leave them alone, or you’ll get busted!

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