Contrary to popular opinion, most burglaries occur during the day, between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when homeowners are usually at work. The average loss incurred from this invasive crime is $1,675; furthermore, one out of six homes is predicted to fall victim.
According to the 2011 FBI Crime Statistics Report, which is the most recent report available, four cities from the state of Ohio topped the list as having the most reported burglaries per 100,000 residents.
The top 5 cities are:
- Cleveland, OH. In a case that demonstrates you shouldn't assume there is a stereotypical burglar, on December 11 last year, two heavyset women reported to be in their 50s tried to break into a Cleveland home, but were spotted by a neighbor. They left the scene before police could arrest them.
- Toledo, OH. Although most burglars - surprisingly - enter through the front door, collectible coins worth hundreds of dollars and a laptop were stolen last Christmas Eve in Toledo when a burglar entered a home through an attic.
- Columbus, OH. Burglars don't' always wait until you're at work, as is demonstrated by a case that happened shortly before Christmas last year. As one Columbus family slept, burglars entered their home through a boarded-up window that held an air conditioning window unit. Besides stealing a cell phone and the family's rent money off of a dresser, the thieves took six dollars in cash from the hands of a child, who was holding on to it as he slept.
- Cincinnati, OH. In a case demonstrating why you still need to protect your home while you're at work, on the outskirts of Cincinnati last June, a 25-year-old pregnant woman was arrested on six charges of burglary of a habitation, as well as four attempted burglary charges. The woman, who sometimes involved her five and seven-year-old sons in the crimes, entered her victims' homes between 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. and stole jewelry from the inhabitants' master bedrooms.
- Memphis, TN. A burglary could turn into something worse. Fortunately, it didn't last autumn when an 11-year-old boy in Memphis stayed home from school because of a dental appointment. A burglar broke into his home while his mother briefly left him alone. The man ransacked the house and threatened the boy with death if he came out of the room he had hidden in.
The following cities rounded out the top ten most burglarized cities in 2011:
- Detroit, MI
- St. Louis, MO
- Tulsa, OK
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Greensboro, NC
Whether you live in one of these cities or not, chances are, you're probably wondering now if you need a security system. The North Yorkshire Police Department, located in a crime-ridden area on the outskirts of Columbus, recommends that you total the value of your belongings, then estimate how their loss compares to the much smaller amount that a security system would cost you.
Other tips from the NYPD website:
- Install exterior security lighting.
- Upgrade your locks to a type that withstands "lock snapping."
- Test any locks that secure gates, fences, sheds or other outbuildings.
- Consider installing a timer switch, and remember to leave at least one light on whenever you leave the premise.
- Store out of sight any items such as ladders, tools, or even garden implements that a burglar could use to break in.
Burglars are in a hurry. The average time a burglar will risk in an attempt to enter a dwelling is one-minute or less. The more difficult you make entry into your home, by finding the best home security company, the less likely you'll be a burglary victim.