Signs a Burglar is Watching Your House

Burglars have become creative now that more resources exist for them to scout your house from afar. You can make burglars think twice about robbing you by being aware of their tricks. Here is a list of their most tried ways in which they may obtain access to your home. 

1. Strange Cars Parked in Your Neighborhood

Is there a car roaming around your neighborhood that you have never seen before? It could be a burglar eyeing houses to target. If you notice someone parked for an extended amount of time or someone that comes regularly but does not enter a home, report it to the police.

2. Strangers Walking Down Your Street

It’s always a good idea to know your neighbors so you can recognize the strangers trying to blend in. Burglars notice when neighbors don’t interact and people keep to themselves. This lets them know that if they choose your house, no one will bother reporting a robbery.

3. People Pretending to Conduct a Survey

3. People Pretending to Conduct a Survey

Always keep your guard up when people come to you with a survey. Ask questions to see if they are legitimate. Ask about the company or organization that they work with, their name, and their job title. 

4. People Pretending to Sell You Something

Door to door selling is not as common as it used to be. Stay wary of those who come forward telling you they are selling something you need. If you don’t see a product in their hand, stay away.

5. Strangers With an Emergency or in Need of Help

Burglars do not have a moral compass and will come up with any excuse for you to open your house to them, including faking an emergency.

6. Strangers Taking Pictures of Your Home

6. Strangers Taking Pictures of Your Home

While technology can help us, technology can also be harmful in the wrong hands. Burglars could be taking pictures of your home so they can analyze entry points and items they have spotted such as a car. 

7. Random Flyers Showing Up on Your Door

7. Random Flyers Showing Up on Your Door

Thieves will test if you are home by leaving flyers at your front door. If you don’t pick them up, they will assume you are not home and choose your home as their target.

8. Something Doesn’t Feel Right

If you feel uneasy, it’s for a reason. Make sure you report your concern to neighbors and the police so you can stay safe.

Learn More: Learn How to Prevent a Home Invasion in 11 Steps

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Home Burglary Statistics

The statistics show alarming results in terms of home burglaries:

On average, there are 2.5 million robberies annually in the United States. This translates to 6,850 cases per day, that is, 10 per minute.

Less than 1 in 5 households has a security system. In addition to this, a home without a security system is 300% more likely to be broken into.

  • 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
  • 23% of burglars gain entrance through a first-floor window.
  • 22% of burglars break 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.

See more on home burglary facts and statistics

A missing dog

A barking dog is the last thing a burglar wants when trying to break into your home. If a thief has been scoping your home and is intent on getting in, he or she will let the dog out well before attempting the break-in. “Then they go back in a week or the next day and know the dog isn’t going to alert the neighbors or homeowners,” says Logan. A runaway dog isn’t always the fault of a criminal, but people with bad intentions will use the strategy from time to time.

How do potential thieves get this information about your home?

The technique most used by most thieves to learn the information necessary to break into a house is observation.

The process that a thief follows before robbing your home is very long and thorough. Thieves want to know your lifestyle, know where you work, how long it takes you to arrive if you go on vacation … In short, they will atone for you outside your home and they will chase you going unnoticed for as long as is necessary for them.

Step 7: Listen for Strange Noises Coming from the House

Before you walk through the door, keep quiet for a moment and listen for any unfamiliar noises. Listen for regular sound patterns, such as that of footsteps going up or down the stairs, as well as irregular patterns, such as the creaking of floorboards, a door being opened, or someone bumping into furniture.

Hopefully, all you hear will be the wind or your cat playing around. However, if you do pick up on anything that raises your concern, err on the side of caution and call the police.

PRO TIP:

  • Consider installing a noise-recording app on an old smartphone you no longer use. Place the phone in the hall or some other central location in your house. The app will record any noises during your absence for as long as the phone is on.

A moving truck

Criminals rely on the fact that people don’t always know much about their neighbors. While a homeowner is on vacation, they might park a U-Haul in the empty driveway—after all, they would have taken the car on their trip—then load up without being questioned, says Stern. Learn the surprising time of day most burglaries happen.

What to Do When Someone Comes in Your Home Uninvited

If you suspect that someone has been in your home, but you can’t entirely be sure, get the authorities involved. When in doubt, always have a trained eye double-check. Not only will having a police officer or security expert look at your home point out if someone has been there, but they will also be able to offer you advice on how to secure your apartment more effectively.

Step 2: Check If The Lights Are On

As you approach your house, have a look at the windows from a distance. Is the light on in any of the rooms?

If it is and you are sure you turned off all the lights before you left, chances are someone has been there or still is. Be very careful and call the police if you have any doubts. Better be safe than sorry!

Floor Markings

Sometimes there is no telltale sign that someone has entered your apartment from the outside. When you are away and you come back home, look at the floor. You may see mud or a footprint that wasn’t there before you left. Furthermore, if you newly vacuumed your floor, you might be surprised to see footprints through the vacuum marks. 

 

Another thing to check for is scuff marks on tiles or laminate flooring. People who don’t carefully lift their feet can easily leave scuff marks on hardwood, tiles, or other hard flooring types. Pay close attention to the floors. 

Common Physical Signs of Surveillance in Your Home or Office

Spy cameras and microphones are relatively inexpensive, accessible, and smaller than ever. Thus, they are also easily installed and hidden. However, while installing may be simple, people may be in a hurry and leave behind traces of their work. Perhaps you’ve already noticed a few things that don’t seem quite right.

Electrical fixture wall plates are slightly out of place

Look for signs of disturbance. Specifically, light switches, electrical outlets, and smoke alarms are popular places for eavesdropping devices because most of the time, we don’t pay much attention to them. For example, look for debris on the floor beneath a fixture, or subtle color differences in the wall plate color. Similarly, look for gaps or poor alignment that may result from hurried installation.

Check your vinyl baseboard – where the floor and wall meet

Another common sign of surveillance is changes in your vinyl baseboards. Frequently, spy devices require wiring for power or data transmission. Thus, the suspect must hide wires. A favorite spot is behind the vinyl baseboard. So, look for a ridge, bump, or discoloring, and then check further for hidden microphone or wiring.

Look for discoloration on ceilings and walls

It may be very small, but a circular spot, no larger than a coin, is a signal that you are being spied on. In particular, small devices such as pinhole microphones or video cameras, rest on the other side of a ceiling or wall and may leave an impression.

A familiar item or sign in your home or office simply looks off

Eavesdroppers try to hide devices in the least obvious place. For this reason, fixtures like lamps and clock radios that you hardly pay attention to are popular choices. A sudden change in these familiar items may be a sign of surveillance. Remember, when someone is installing a surveillance device, they are usually in a hurry and nervous. This means any item that has been affected is rarely left in the same way. Thus, look to see if any are a little crooked, or showing a strange semi-reflective surface, or even have a tiny hole.

You notice white debris close to a wall

It stands to reason that to install a small microphone or video camera inside the wall, you must bore a hole into them. This will generally leave white dust on the ground. Someone that is nervous or in a hurry may neglect to clean up the dust. Whenever you spot white powder-like dust, you should look at that wall or ceiling for any recent disturbances.

Also, moveable ceiling tiles are ideal for hiding microphones and cameras. But, they are easily damaged when moved. Always take a closer if you see small pieces on the floor, or gouges, chips, cracks, or sagging in the tiles.

The locks on your doors become easily stuck, or just don’t feel right

It may just need to be oiled, but when your lock suddenly becomes stiff, sticky, or even fails, it’s a strong indication that you’re being spied on. The chances are that someone picked or otherwise manipulated it to get inside and install spy devices.

Your files or belongings appear to have been disturbed or rummaged through, but there doesn’t seem to be anything missing

Eavesdroppers often mistakenly think that items left out of sight are easily forgotten. So, when rummaging through filing cabinets, desk drawers, or dresser drawers, they are less concerned about leaving everything back the way it was.  If things feel a little off and aren’t exactly as you remember them then there is every reason to be suspicious.

A clear sign you’re being spied on – new items in your home or office appear from nowhere

Beware of new items at home or in your office.  If you notice anything new, like a wall clock, phone, lamp, or even a picture frame, ask where it came from. If no one knows, it may have been planted there with a surveillance device inside it.

Warnings

  • If the criminal is armed, get out of the house immediately. If you can, take a phone with you so you are able to call the police.

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Signs That You’re Being Targeted

Many of us are oblivious to what’s going on around us, especially when it comes to spotting crime. But if you pay attention, you should be able to identify the telltale signs someone is casing your house before the burglary takes place. Here’s how you can tell if a burglar is watching your house:

  • The same unfamiliar vehicle hanging around over the course of several days, either frequently driving by your place, or parked nearby.
  • Unfamiliar individuals walking back and forth on your street or back alley.
  • Anyone taking photos of your home or property. You might not necessarily catch them in the act but if you see a stranger with a camera on your street, that is a cause for concern.
  • Loose light bulbs on exterior lights. Burglars will often unscrew them a day or two prior to a break-in attempt.
  • Strangers at your door. Burglars will frequently walk up and knock on the front door to see if someone is home, giving an excuse – asking for directions, have you seen my dog?, oops wrong house – whenever someone answers it.
  • Mild vandalism like a rock through a side window. This is done so that burglars can get an idea of what happens if a window is broken? Is there an alarm system on the windows they need to be aware of?
  • Someone lets your dog out of your yard. Or someone shows a fond interest in your dog. Getting rid of your dog makes their lives a lot easier.
  • Telephone calls that hang up as soon as you answer. Burglars often do this to find out who, if anyone, is home right now.
  • Clear tape over the keyhole to your front door. This is done so when you enter your keys, they know that you’re home. This could provide them with an idea of your schedule and help them plan better.
  • Trash rummaging. Many times, burglars might go through your trash to try to find important documents that reveal important details about you. This is done to find out about you, the more they know, the easier target you are. Always remember to shred your documents before discarding them.  

There are also more literal signs that your house is marked for robbery. Recently, there have been homes in both North America and Europe with strange markings discovered somewhere outside. According to the authorities, these are often left by criminals as either reminders to themselves or messages to their accomplices.

Image Source

Image Source

If you find odd chalk markings on your property, it’s a good idea to inform the proper authorities. These marks may have been made by the kids down the street, or they could be from a burglar. House robbery markings aren’t always obvious and their meaning usually isn’t clear, but the police may have information on what (if anything) they mean.

There are 2.5 million+ burglaries each year in the United States, with an average dollar loss of $2251 per burglary. Unless you want to be part of that statistic, you do need to take steps to protect your family and your property and learn how to tell if a burglar is watching your house. Would-be burglars are casing your home. They’re returning several times looking for easiest access points, proof that you’re not home, evidence of valuables, and whatever other data they can gather. Don’t make it easy for them. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Deep Sentinel is a home monitoring system that works with a constantly improving AI system that can recognize threatening behaviors at your property and intervene before any damage is done. It is the best and most reliable alternative to ADT and other burglar alarm systems. Visit our home security page to find out more about how to keep your home safe.

 

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