On an episode of ABC’s 20/20 entitled, “Confessions of a Burglar,” four-time convicted burglar Chris Patterson did something both fascinating and terrifying: he gave viewers tips on how to keep their homes safe from, well, people like himself. He mentioned that many people set themselves up to be burglarized and actually make the job surprisingly easy. Here are his tips to protect you and your family.
- Install a security system. This is an immediate red flag for burglars to think twice on attempting to gain access into that home. The risk of sounding an alarm and seeing cops pull up minutes later is just not worth it.
- Hang a “Beware of Dog” sign. Even if your dog wouldn’t hurt or a fly or if you don’t own one in the first place, a sign like this is likely enough to deter a burglar from calling your bluff.
- Don’t announce your absence on social media! This is pure common sense but Patterson says he’s surprised about how many of his social media friends announced their vacations, detail-by-detail online. He claims that scouring social platforms is “one of the hottest trends out there” for burglars.
- Don’t hide valuables in the master bedroom. This bedroom is the first place a burglar will look because 9 times out of 10, jewelry, guns, cash, and other valuables are hidden -or in plain view- in this area. He suggests not hiding jewelry in ornate boxes that stand out, and rather in old shoe boxes or ordinary-looking cartons.
“It would be great if other people didn’t have to go through what… my victims went through,” Patterson said.
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