U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Prevention of Burglaries

NCJ Number
128995
Author(s)
K W Krainz
Date Published
1988
Length
414 pages
Annotation
A questionnaire survey of 111 convicted burglars in an Austrian prison gathered information on the way burglars choose their targets and the methods they use for break-ins.
Abstract
The results indicated that three factors influence the behavior of burglars: the items they expect to find, the accessibility of the house, and the risks involved. Burglars initially become interested in a target as a result of its outward appearance and what it indicates about the prospective loot. When looking for ways of entering, burglars are deterred by visible alarm systems, window bars, secured shutters, safety glass, and glass bricks. Hardwood doors with complicated safety locks also serve as deterrents. However, no security system is impenetrable if enough time is available. Therefore, introducing risk factors that raise the likelihood of detection increase the effectiveness of security measures. Thus, properties that are secluded from the view of the neighbors through hedges or massive fences or that indicate the resident's absence may attract burglars. To prevent burglaries, householders should use a security checklist, make sure that neighbors can see the house clearly, create a sense of mutual neighborly attentiveness, and avoid habits that encourage burglaries. Tables, index, and references