How Burglars Think: How to Outsmart Them
Every New England home or business owner wants to protect their property from burglars. Such invaders are a real threat today. According to the FBI, in 2018, the most recent full year with available statistics, there were 1.2 million burglaries in the United States. This represents some 17 percent of all property crime.
Naturally, you can take basic steps to defend yourself, such as locking doors and windows when you are absent, alerting neighbors if you are going on vacation, and so on. To take it a step further, however, try to think a bit like a burglar and develop your defensive strategies accordingly.
Profile of a New England Master Burglar
Let’s look at some available data about the burglar mindset. For instance, we have recent articles from Bloomberg and other sources about the daring and successful burglar Sean Murphy from the city of Lynn, Massachusetts. His major claim to fame as “master thief” was his 2008 theft of the New York Giants Super Bowl rings from an Attleboro, Massachusetts, jewelry dealer.
According to reports, Like many other current thieves, Murphy had very specific and successful approaches when he stole. For instance, he was:
- Professional: Murphy had been a thief since his teens. He’d done jail time, and it didn’t bother him. He’d learned the tricks of not leaving fingerprints, how to disable alarms, and how to crack a safe with an electromagnetic drill. So, if you want to counter such an expert, you need to partner with security vendors/service providers that offer similar capabilities.
- Web-enabled: Murphy surfed the internet for targets. He learned of the Attleboro score while in the Boston public library seeking victims. Other would-be burglars use social media to find vulnerable targets. For instance, people posting on Facebook about their current or upcoming vacation make thieves’ work easier. To counter such cyber threats, never post anything on the web or social media you wouldn’t want a potential burglar to know.
- A thorough planner and well equipped: Murphy thought through how he would take his victim down and what vulnerabilities he would exploit. When Murphy and his gang struck for the Giant’s rings, they wore black “ninja” jumpsuits with black masks to disguise themselves. They also carried power saws, drills and other useful gear. To counter such thieves, you need to review your own potential weak spots, such as areas where you lack lighting or cameras.
- Tech-savvy: Knowing that some alarms are cellular-enabled, Murphy used a cellphone jammer (a box with four antennas) to block contact with first responders. Other burglars will cut power lines to shut down alarms. If you have an alarm and surveillance system already, make sure it has redundant power and communications capabilities.
These are the sorts of burglars you are facing today. They are frequently disciplined, coolly professional, know their trade and are looking for easy targets. The best way to counter them is to get the best available security systems and expertise. This will make you more trouble than you are worth.
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