Marcie Hill is the author of todays post, written after meeting face to face with 6 professional thieves. The panelists, all currently serving prison time provided the audience with insights that were both surprising, and a bit chilling.
A panel of six burglars from the Keepin’ It Real program attended our Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meeting recently, and shared honest and in-depth details about tricks of their trades. One person specialized in cars only; another specialized in identity theft; and the remaining four were generalists. One of the generalists had a ComEd uniform, and offered somewhat different experiences than the others. Check out what they all had to say.
Types of neighborhoods targeted
- Quiet, where people don’t talk to each other
- Neighbors that mind their own business
- Neighborhoods where people don’t pay attention
- Know your neighbors, if only the ones to your right, left, front, and back.
- Pay attention to what’s going on in your community. If something or someone looks out of place, call the police.
- Know who lives on your block and in your building even if you are not well acquainted.
The length of time it takes to steal
- If your area has already been scoped, it only takes 3 to 5 minutes to burglarize a home. The maximum time it takes is 10 minutes. It only takes 1-2 minutes to steal items from your car.
Pets, fences and alarm systems do not stop burglars
- Many criminals welcome pets and fences. Fences block their vision and pets let them know when you are arriving because they usually look out for you.
- Dogs are fed peanut butter so it can get stuck to the roofs of their mouths. Depending on the type of dog, thieves may take it, too!
Where they like to steal
- All of the guys burglarized single-family homes; one preferred businesses; but a couple preferred multi-unit buildings. This allowed them access to more apartments.
- They generally gained entry by acting like they couldn’t find their keys OR a current resident held the door for them without giving thought to the person they just let inside their home
Favorite rooms/things to burglarize
Favorite entry points
How they get stuff out the house
What happen to stolen goods?
The officer posed the question: Have you ever wondered where retailers at flea markets got the lawn mowers they sell?
- Change frequencies on your garage door remote because nearby neighbors can open your door if it is on the same frequency as their electronics
- A Comcast Universal Remote can open garage doors
- Five of them worked in groups; the ComEd guy worked alone
- They ring the doorbell to see if anyone is home
- They do NOT want to meet anyone in the house. If they get caught, crime changes from burglary to home invasion with a higher sentencing
- City of Chicago offers a FREE security evaluation. Call 311 to schedule an appointment.
From the Identity Thief
- Shred all documents that have birth date and social security number
- Parking tickets contain information that can be used to obtain your credit report through freecreditreport.com. After your records are retrieved, your account can be upgraded, and the offender can shop. Only a credit card number is needed for shopping sprees.
From the Car Guy
- If he doesn’t see anything inside the car, he keeps moving
- Take time to put things in your trunk
From the ComEd Guy
- He was able to move around freely because of his uniform.
- Ask all uniformed individuals for I.D.
The main deterrents for burglars
- Outdoor cameras
- Nosey neighbors
- Neighbors that look out for each other, talk to each other, and wave at each other
- Neighborhood crime signs
The information presented above came directly from six burglars that mastered the art of thievery.
They are currently serving time, and are soon scheduled for release. Please be mindful of this information and share it with others.