How do burglars actually get in?

Home and business owners can take all the precautions necessary to avoid being burgled, but unfortunately some determined criminals still gain access to your premises if the timing is right. The stereotypical burglary tools are a crowbar and screwdriver, both of which can be used to pry open a door or a window, and being caught with these items in your possession without a valid reason can be a criminal offence known as “going equipped” – essentially having the items on your person that could be used in a burglary. There are other tools, some of which are more discreet, that burglars use to gain access and knowing about these can help you avoid burglars using these measures to gain entry to your property.

A set of lock picking devices is easily concealed – anyone who has watched Father Brown will know these can be easily hidden in a cassock, or any item of clothing should the burglar not be dressed as a priest! Lock picking works by inserting a slim file into the lock and manipulating the pins of the lock individually to open it. There are many styles of lock pick for different types of lock and, although if found with a set it would be considered to be “going equipped”, they are easier to conceal or discard. Bumping is another type of lock picking which uses a master key inserted into the lock then tapped to jump the cylinders and open the lock. If a key has been left in the lock from the inside burglars can use powerful magnets to rotate the key in the lock, opening it without a trace.

Burglars can also use a drill to make a tiny hole in a window frame in order to access the mechanism that locks the windows shut. Once they can access this mechanism the window can be opened without much obvious evidence of a break in from the outside. A drill can be used for lots of different purposes, so is less conspicuous than the other equipment a burglar might carry around.

We know how burglars gain access, but how do they know a property is empty, especially if you have left lights and radios on timers? They do something called bookmarking. They will put a piece of transparent plastic in the doorframe, or perhaps adhesive tape across the frame and door. After a couple of days they will return to see if the plastic or tape has been moved – if not this indicates that the building is unoccupied. Similar techniques involve putting ‘blu-tak’ on the lock, or adhesive tape that must be removed in order to access the property. Again, if this has been removed it’s a sign that the property is occupied.

We hope this insight has helped you to increase your security and be aware of the methods used to gain entry to a property. Armed with this information you can take measures to protect the vulnerable entry points of your home.