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Mind of a Criminal: Why a Burglar Targets Your Home
You know that saying "the more you know?" I know that crime is probably one of your biggest concerns. As I work to find ways that we can protect our families, I thought you should hear from a criminal himself. Learn what he knows so that you can have better chance at not being a victim by going inside the Mind of a Criminal.
A hardened criminal softened after having children of his own and spending some time in prison, so he sat down for an interview with me. We will call him "Thad" to help disguise his identity.
Thad explained, "I had this feeling that you know I was locked up, and I was trying to change my life and I took so much away from the world it was my turn to give back."
His time of reconciliation is your gain because some of the things he's revealed may scare you at first, but ultimately, can help you protect your family.
Randy Beamer: "Where's the first place you go first thing in a house?"
Thad: "First thing first place I go in the house is the kids room."
Randy Beamer: "The kids room? Why?"
Thad: "Because kids tend to want a lot of things, and parents seem to give them what they want...They want to keep their kids occupied. So therefore, you know, they've got games, TV's, laptops...everything that a person would want for money."
So, how does he even get into a house? There are several ways. When he sees an AC unit hanging out of the window, he sees that as a big enough hole to get into the house, so he'd shove that in. He's broken into cars to grab garage door openers, then just waits until no one is around. So, he recommends never leaving your opener in the car at all.
He said we make it way too easy for him to kick in a door because we use cheap or ineffective locks.
Thad: "Even if there's an alarm, you've got a certain amount of time to do what you got to do to get out."
Randy Beamer: "Back door? Front door? Side door?"
Thad: "Back door because it's more secretive."
He left mainly on foot rather than in a getaway car, and has hit the same home more than once.
Randy Beamer: "Why?"
Thad: "Because I already knew technique how to get in there easy, fast and quick. They'll be cautious and then they get back to same lifestyle."
Randy Beamer: "They don't change anything?"
Thad: "Yes. Like sometimes people will change but they don't change good enough."
What struck me was some of the things we do that make us feel safe, criminals know and can use against us.
Thad: "Say a gated community. That's a place where there's not a lot of awareness because people feel safe, that people have to have a number to get into that gate. That one gate cannot protect the whole foundation of the whole community."
He doesn't worry that much when he sees security cameras. Though security systems and spotlights around the house that stay on all night may make him think twice, but he says a good old barking dog, or trusty motion sensor light might scare him away.
Thad: "When you walk up to a light that's off, and it just on, it sends that quick shot up on you, and you just take off."
His advice to you: don't leave your garage door opener in your car, get good locks, maybe a dog or security system helps, and try to keep your valuable stuff out of sight or you're just making his job easier.
The only place he'd keep cash is in a bank. He says unless it's in a safe that's way too heavy to carry or bolted down, he'd find it and take it.