This post was originally published on October 18, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Over 570,000 violent robberies occurred in 2018. To better understand how and why criminals target homes, TENGA station, KTVB interviewed 89 convicted burglars. Based on their responses, we learned a great deal about what security equipment effectively deters people from breaking in and what does not work.

Below, we provide key secrets revealed from the survey and how homeowners can ramp up security measures to protect themselves.

Burglar Secrets Unveiled

Based on results from the survey, a few startling, but vital, key findings include:

  • Thirty-four percent of burglars enter through the front door, making this the most common entryway. Twenty-two percent enter through the back door.
  • Sixty-five percent of home burglaries occur between 6AM and 6PM. Homeowners or renters are typically at work during these hours.
  • One in four robberies involve a known associate of the homeowner or renter. While we tend to be trusting of others, unfortunately this can be anyone from an acquaintance, co-worker or neighbor.
  • The most common place for valuables is the bedroom. Seventy-five percent of burglars say the bedroom is the first place they go.
  • Jewelry and cash are the most targeted items. One respondent said, “jewelry and cash are my favorite, but I stole anything I was attracted to.” The same individual even stole a samurai sword from the home he invaded.
  • Prescription drugs and electronics are also commonly taken items from homes. While some burglars keep drugs and other stolen goods for themselves, often stolen drugs and electronics are re-sold for profit.
  • Burglars aren’t looking to encounter homeowners in their operation. Avoid letting your home look vacant by keeping mailboxes empty, lights on and the grass cut. Homes that appear to be vacant are more likely to be a target.

How to Increase Home Security

So, what can you and your loved ones do with this information? Boost your home security with the following tips:

  • Install motion sensors or image sensors near windows and doors. If activity is detected, notifications will be sent to you and your monitoring center.
  • Utilize smart lights that trigger based on movement or events. This makes it appear as if someone is active in your home, turning lights on and off themselves—versus on a set schedule. This can also be beneficial if you utilize IP surveillance cameras and notice suspicious activity at your home.
  • Place surveillance cameras in rooms (e.g. the bedroom) where high-valued items, such as cash, jewelry or electronics, are stored.
  • Purchase a residential monitored alarm system if you do not have one already.

With so many security options on the market, it’s important to find the best product for your specific needs. To protect your home from burglars, speak with a security provider today to discuss a custom solution.