The typical burglar is young, white, and unemployed or underemployed. His reasons for committing a burglary are about money and status. Money is obvious. The status issue often has to do with being seen by his peers as having cash and ready to go do a burglary if he does not have cash. It is about ego. Studies have shown that burglars live a “now” type lifestyle and will commit a burglary because he needs money “now”, and when he gets it will spend it “now”.
The typical burglar will pick a target based on a number of different factors.
- First, he will be influenced by a location that he knows to have or believes to have portable valuables. Cash is best, but any small and high value items raise the desirability of the target.
- The second, and most important factor for our purposes, is the “hardness” of the target. If a typical burglar sees good interior and exterior lighting, strong doors, windows and locks that will make entry very difficult or risky, high foot traffic in the area, enforcement attempts(neighborhood watch or private security), and a good alarm system, he will normally pass and go somewhere else where those precautions are not present. He is looking for a “soft”, low risk target.
Non-typical, professional burglars exist out there too. It has been said that you cannot prevent a professional from breaking in if he wants to get in. While there is a grain of truth in that, you can make the risk/payoff equation such that a professional would pass on your home or business. If you are keeping the hope diamond at your club, the payoff is extraordinarily high. That means the risk side of the equation (your protective/preventive methods) must be extraordinarily high as well. So don’t keep a lot of valuables around that are not required. Do everything possible to prevent becoming a victim. The happy conclusion is that if you are vigilant, there is little likelihood of becoming a victim. – KP
Kevin R. Peters
Kevin Peters is a retired federal agent and former club manager who conducts the candidate backgrounding for Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC. He is also owner of KR Peters Security, LLC, a security consulting company primarily servicing the private club industry.