When Do Most Burglaries Occur

Despite the iconic Hollywood images of the black-clad and balaclava-covered cat burglars sneaking onto rooftops in the dead of night, most burglaries occur when (and how) you least expect them! We’re here to share some house burglary facts as well as a few great tips for preventing home invasions.

Believe it or not, burglars are pretty bold. Most burglaries happen during the middle of the day. Summer vacation, fall break, Thanksgiving, and spring break are all popular windows of opportunity for intrepid burglars. Not only are criminals happy to make themselves at home while you’re on the road, but they often waltz right in through the front door.

Burglary Statistics

According to the most recent annual figures available through the FBI’s Unified Crime Reporting Program:

  • In 2015, there were an estimated 1,579,527 burglaries
  • The estimated number of burglaries accounted for 19.8% of the estimated number of property crimes.
  • 57.9% of burglaries involved forcible entry
  • 35.5% were unlawful entries, and 6.6% were attempted forcible entry
  • Victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.6 billion in property losses in 2015
  • The average dollar loss per burglary offense was $2,316
  • Burglaries of residential properties accounted for 71.6% of all burglary offenses

Who’s Breaking In?

According to a study conducted by UNC Charlotte, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective”  

  • Burglars are most likely to be male and under 25 years old
  • 85% of break-ins are by amateurs and done out of desperation, which some might suggest makes them more dangerous
  • Most spend time considering factors like proximity to traffic and possible escape routes
  • 12% admitted to planning in advance
  • 41% said it was an impulsive decision
  • 83% admitted that they specifically look to see if there's an alarm
  • 60% would change their mind if there was one installed.

Why Burglars Love Summers (and Spring and Fall)

Summer is a time to kick off your shoes and throw open the windows. Who hasn’t run to the store for a bag of ice, leaving doors unlocked and windows open to accommodate those summer breezes? Not only that, but many homeowners pack up the family SUV for extended family road trips and annual vacation adventures. In the mad dash to get out of Dodge, neglecting to check the locks on all the doors and windows often results in an unsecured home.

While prevailing wisdom indicates summers are high season for burglars, Tennessee’s extended school year means extended vacations sprinkled throughout the seasons. Burglars keep an eye open for any possible opportunity, and carelessly unlocked homes and extended periods away provide the perfect opportunity for criminals looking to target your home. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, home invaders love a good vacation.

NCA BURGLARY PREVENTION TIP: Establish great habits; lock your doors and windows every single time you leave the house.

For more theft prevention tips, check out our post “How to Keep Your Home Safe When You’re On Vacation.”

Burglars Love Neglect

Here in Tennessee, if you don’t show your lawn some weekly love, you’re practically installing a flashing LED sign advertising the fact that you’re not on the premises. Keeping your yard well-maintained and tidy not only keeps the bad guys away, but it makes your neighbors happy as well! Don’t be bashful, ask a friend or neighbor to swing by to grab circulars, flyers, or packages that may accumulate in your absence.

NCA BURGLARY PREVENTION TIP: If you’re heading out of town, suspend newspaper subscriptions and sign up for USPS’s Hold Mail Service.NCA BURGLARY PREVENTION TIP: If you park on the street, and you’re leaving your car behind, ask a trusted friend to move your car every day or two.Most Burglaries Happen During the Day

We’ll say it again because it bears repeating: most burglaries, 65% of them, occur between 6AM and 6PM. Most burglaries happen during the day because the risk of the homeowner or renter being home is minimal. If you think your neighbors would notice an unlawful entry, think again! They may not be home or they may assume that you’re having work done on your property.

NCA BURGLARY PREVENTION TIP: Never let door-to-door salespeople into your home. Often would-be burglars pose as salespeople to get the layout of your home and see where valuable might be kept.Most Burglars Head Straight for the Bedroom

Generally speaking, people don’t hide their valuables very well. Once your home has been broken into, the odds are good that the thief will head straight for your bedroom and master bathroom where they’ll scavenge for cash, jewelry, weapons, and other valuables.

NCA BURGLARY PREVENTION TIP: Store your valuables in a safe that’s mounted to the floor.

For more burglary prevention tips, check out our article, Common Burglary Entry Points and How to Prevent a Home Invasion. To learn more about our company or to receive a free quote on our home alarm monitoring services, contact NCA today.