Confessions of a Burglar

A local magazine called The Advocate recently featured a story about burglars and their methods of attack. The information garnered came straight from a video interview with a professional burglar (who is now serving a life sentence in prison). The interviewee is described as “'James,' a 40-year-old, grungy, white male who has spent one-third of this life in prison."

Hmm...sounds like "James" doesn't look like any of these guys.

image via Ocean's 11

He averaged about four burglaries a day, six days a week and here are the secrets to his past success:
  • Two burglars who know what they’re doing can be in and out of a house within six minutes.
  • James worked only between the hours of 8 and 11 a.m., immediately paying a visit to his “fence,” a person who aids the burglar in selling/distributing the property. Your valuables most likely are sold and gone before you even get home from work to report it.
  • He almost always entered through the front or back door, using a pry bar tool designed to rip the trim off the door, collapse the sheet rock with little effort. According to North Central police, most burglars in our area gain access through open garage doors.
  • James owes a lot of his successful crimes to the UPS delivery guy. “They do it all for you,” he says in the interview. He simply followed the truck and waited for the driver to knock on doors, discover no one was home and leave the package at the doorstep along with a bright yellow sticker.
James' bits of advice for preventing a burglary at your home:

  • The No. 1 deterrent: install a reliable home alarm system or at least a sign in the front yard. The No. 2 deterrent: get a dog, preferably one that barks at strangers.
  • Keep all blinds and curtains closed, especially at night. If a burglar sees a flat screen on the wall inside the house, you can bet he’ll be back to get it.
It may not be pretty and glamorous, but I found it interesting and wanted to share it, especially since most of us receive more packages via UPS and Fedex during the holidays! Anyhow, just want to help keep you, your home, and your family safe from all of the crazies out there. To read more, visit The Advocate's site - the whole story can be found there.


  1. Great tips! My husband and I just had an all in one printer stolen out of our trunk while we were unpacking the car after Thanksgiving...I still can't believe we didn't see them.

  2. That's exactly why I have two dogs and an alarm system. My home is a burglars nightmare.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this information!

  4. Thank you for posting this. I would never have thought about potential burglars looking through the window to see if there was a flat screen ripe for the picking. I know I'm guilty of not always remembering to lock my front door before leaving home. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  6. Great advice! This is that time of year that I become really happy about living in a gated neighborhood. We still have a burglary once in a while, but it's very rare. Like once every 18 months. And I have two barky dogs. :)

  7. Interesting. There used to be a tv show about this too. They would tape how easy it was to get into your house... Can't remember the name...

  8. I am moving to a new home with 3 acres. I was already worring about burglars. Now I am really am. We are getting the alarm but I a not redy for the dog...

  9. I love this Kyle! There have been tons of breakins in my neighborhood in the last two weeks. This was very helpful. Glad I have an alarm system and two dog because I live kind of remote.

  10. Great info, Kyle. Thanks for sharing!

  11. WOW! The UPS tip is so smart. Ive heard never place electronic boxes in your dumpster. Because burglars know what possession youve acquired and probably have installed yet.


    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  12. that's for the article! I have a home security system, but i'm quite sure it would take the local police longer than 6 minutes to respond to the call! they'd be long gone by then!

  13. It's funny he should mention the delivery man. Last year Fed Ex left one of my packages on the front doorstep of our brownstone located -- full view of all passers-by and living in the city that's a lot of folks to temp. Naturally when I got home an our later my package had been picked up. They didn't even have to break in. Fed Ex paid for the replacement but I see they are no brighter this year -- saw a package sitting on the neighbor's stoop this morning and I'll be amazed if it's still waiting for them when they get home.

  14. I agree with Mr. Goodwill Hunting...years ago my ex-husband and I bought a stereo, instead of pulling the car into the garage and shutting the door he carried the boxes inside from the driveway. The NEXT day a guy who was staying with the neighbor across the street broke into our house. And how did he gain access? Through the side garage door!