Case a house is a term used to describe the process by which thieves select their targets. The vast majority of burglars will not pick a house at random. Even the most incompetent burglar will spend many hours casing the neighborhood before deciding which house to break into. Criminals will also pay close attention to the surrounding area, selecting a spot that is ideal for their casing profile. A thief will “case” a house by observing the residents to learn the routines and then plot the most effective entry.
Wondering if you’re a target for burglary? Read the following 10 signs to figure out if a thief is keeping an eye on your house or one nearby.
There is a new car parked on the street
The first thing you may notice on the street is a new car. A vehicle is the most common method of transportation for burglars, as reported by UNC. The vehicle could be the thief’s own, that of a close relative, or one that was stolen. A burglar will rarely go on foot to scout a neighborhood. Any time a new car is parked on the street, residents should keep a close eye on it.
Note: Don’t approach a car unless you’ve written down its license plate number. In the event that a home is burglarized, you can provide the authorities with the license plate number. You might also report the suspicious car and wait for the cops.
Strangers Walking the Neighborhood Streets
Sometimes a thief may park at the end of the block, then make his way through the neighborhood in search of an easy target. The suspect will be strolling around the area in an unassuming manner, trying to blend in with the locals. There will be two key variations, however.
In the first place, you have no idea who this guy is. And secondly, the stranger will be checking out every house as they pass. They’ll first look outside to see whether any automobiles are parked in the driveway. Finally, the visitor will check the house’s windows to see whether anyone is home. Observing an unfamiliar person who seems overly interested in the homes in your area could be a sign of a burglar casing the area.
A Stranger Is Coming Up on Houses
Strangers approaching houses is another red flag that a burglar is casing the neighborhood. The visitor will come up the driveway little ways before stopping and staring at the house. Some people will knock on your door and demand something from you, such as a drink, paper, or the use of your restroom.
Burglars can detect if their targets are home or not just by walking up to their houses. When breaking into a house, a frequent strategy is to knock on the door and beg to come inside (for a drink or to make a phone call). The thief will sneakily open a window or unlock a side door once inside the house, making it an easy target once the homeowner has left. Once inside, a thief can assess whether or not there is anything valuable to steal.
You Notice Solicitors Knocking on Doors
For burglars, knocking on doors is the most obvious technique to determine if a house is unoccupied. In order to pass themselves off as legitimate solicitors, burglars will typically dress the part and carry a clipboard. The intruder can then go around knocking on doors without raising any suspicion. The intruder will use this information to plan his or her day around who might be home at specific times.
The majority of thieves who utilize this tactic will return the next day to complete the burglary. Since 30% of households don’t lock their doors, a few criminals will try the first unanswered door and move on from there. The burglar can easily enter your home if the door is unfastened.
Keep in mind, nevertheless, that not every solicitor has dishonest intentions. If a solicitor knocks on your door, make sure to inquire about the firm they represent. Find the company’s contact information and give them a call.
Allow the person to continue on their way if the corporation says they have local solicitors. If the business doesn’t exist or if the company claims it doesn’t employ any solicitors, you’ve probably apprehended a thief.
A Stranger is Snapping Photos
Many concerns arise when an unknown person starts photographing your home. First, it’s a big warning sign. The burglars would take photographs of the house to show off to their buddies. When it comes time to break in, the accomplice can use this to locate the house. The burglar could be keeping the house in reserve for a later time. If you catch someone photographing your house, for whatever reason, snap a picture of them.
A Person Posts Flyers on Just a Few Doors
Flyers are generally seen as a harmless, if slightly bothersome, aspect of homeownership by the majority of people. The resident will remove the flier from the door and discard it. However, fliers can also indicate that a burglar is casing your home.
House break-in flyers serve as indicators for potential victims. The two functions they serve are not mutually exclusive. Since one-third of thieves won’t only rob one house, the first goal is to identify which residence will be attacked. The other objective is to see who can return home first. Most people will take the flyer down from their door when they get home. The abandoned flyers serve as a beacon for burglars to identify which residences have been occupied most recently. If you see a flier stuck to your door, take it down immediately.
There are sidewalk markings close to your house
The presence of scribbles on the curb in front of your house may indicate that a burglar has been there. Typically, the chalk marking will be a single ‘x’ or a line. This indication tells the thief and his partner that your house is the one they should break into. If you’ve noticed one in front of yours, remove the target and stay in a large group inside the house for the following few days.
A Stranger Informs You of An Emergency
It’s probable that you’re the target of a home invasion if a stranger knocks on your door claiming there’s been an emergency. The stranger will tell you they were attacked nearby and had their phone stolen, or that their car broke down and they lost their phone. Then the visitor will say he has to use the phone and ask to come inside.
The burglar will enter the home and look around for anything of value. While inside, they may unlock a window or open a back door to facilitate a later entry. It’s probably best to keep someone who comes to your house asking to use the phone outside on the porch.
Too many joggers pass by your house
It’s not uncommon for criminals to jog by a house several times before breaking in. Even if you see a stranger jogging by your house once, they probably aren’t a threat. On the other hand, if an unknown jogger has been seen by your home on many occasions, you should probably be concerned. Some burglars have been known to jog up and down the same street in order to time their break-ins with the arrival and departure of residents. They can also see which houses are secured by security systems and which aren’t.
Trust Your Instincts
It’s best to play it cautious if you suspect that criminals are casing your house. Keep an eye out for warning signals that your home is in danger, and then protect it. Remember to activate your home security system. It’s a good idea to always have someone at home, so designate someone to stay there. Let your dog out into the yard to exercise and keep an eye on things.