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Do burglars return to homes and neighborhoods?

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A burglary can be a traumatic event. Being deprived of your valuables is one thing, but the ultimate cost is losing your sense of safety. You might think that a burglar will avoid your home once it’s been hit. Unfortunately, there is the possibility of a repeat burglary.

It doesn’t seem fair that a home should fall victim to more than one home burglary, but it does happen. Many burglary statistics show that burglars will return to a home to commit a repeat burglary. According to an article in the Crime Science Journal, 33 percent of home invasions in the United States were repeat burglaries. This varies depending on your location. One study in Florida shows:

  • 25 percent of homes fell victim to repeat burglaries within one week of the initial offense.
  • 51 percent of homes were subject to a repeat burglary within one month of the initial offense.

Help protect your home from a repeat burglary by understanding why it happens and what you can do to prevent it.

Why repeat burglary occurs

Why repeat burglary occurs

There are several reasons an intruder might return to your home to commit a repeat burglary.

  1. Coming back for leftovers:

    Most burglaries are the work of impulse and the need for quick cash. Typically, residential theft occurs quickly and without much planning. Sometimes, a burglar will take note of items that they can’t snatch up in their first visit and they might come back for any leftovers.
  2. Improved confidence and knowledge:

    Some intruders may commit repeat burglary because they gain confidence with a successful break-in and realize it may easily work again. In addition, they may feel that they have learned enough about your home to spot weak points and attempt a second offense.
  3. Damage provides easy entrance:

    It can take days or weeks to get insurance claims approved and repairs completed. Broken windows or doors might offer an easy point of entry for a burglar looking for round two.
  4. Seems unexpected:

    Some burglars perceive that homeowners begin to let their guard down after the dust settles. While those victims are busy repairing damage, it offers an opportunity for a repeat burglary.
  5. Ease of access:

    Some homes are a more desirable target than others. If your home is easy to see inside of or it’s widely known to be vacant most of the time, you could be at higher risk of a repeat burglary.
  6. High crime areas:

    Areas of high crime tend to experience higher rates of repeat burglaries.

What can you do about repeat burglary? Check out these prevention tips.

Repeat burglary prevention tips

Repeat burglary prevention tips

If you have been unlucky enough to fall victim to a home burglary, chances are you don’t want to repeat that experience. These prevention tactics will help you avoid repeat burglary:

  • Install a home security system: Home security systems act as a definite deterrent to repeat burglary. If it’s obvious you have stepped up your security, it’s less likely to be a target for repeat burglary.
  • Make it look like someone is home: One of the best deterrents for burglary is a physical presence. Often, an intruder will abandon their attempt if it seems like someone is home.
  • Repair any burglary damage as soon as possible: Broken windows or insecure latches might offer a desirable point of entry for someone looking for a second score. Repair any damage as soon as possible to avoid the likelihood of a repeat burglary.
  • Install security cameras: Security cameras are another good deterrent for repeat burglaries. Burglars don’t like to be caught on camera.
  • Get a dog: Dogs can let you know when someone is lurking around and they often make enough noise to send a repeat offender on his way.
  • Avoid social media: Always keep your travel plans off of social media. An empty home is a prime target.
  • Perform a home security audit: Walk around your home and look for any way that might seem like a desirable entry point for a burglar. Take efforts to improve your home security wherever you can. Trim tall grass and hedges, repair any broken latches or windows, and put away any ladders or tools that could be used to get in your home.

Help protect your home to avoid the hassle of a repeat burglary.

Sources:
https://crimesciencejournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40163-016-0049-6
http://www.popcenter.org/tools/repeat_victimization/2

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