What do burglars look for when targeting a house? Thieves spill beans to police - find out how you can put them off

Victims make it obvious they're away

Convicted burglars are helping with crime prevention in the county.

West Yorkshire Police’s Performance Improvement Unit has been interviewing offenders about what they look for while committing crimes.

This is designed to give officers a greater insight into burglars’ knowledge and to use the information to reduce crime.

Some of the comments given by the offenders included:

“Lighting on upstairs puts me off, because you don’t know if someone is in or not. If people left upstairs lights on then you wouldn’t really take a chance on that.”

“They (people) should hide valuables and have nothing on show. Why would I go into a house if I didn’t know there was anything in there worth having?”

“If I can see something through the kitchen window then I might smash the window, unlock the door and take the stuff.”

“You can tell if folk are on holiday. All the blinds are closed or there’s mail in the letterbox, papers sticking out or milk on the step sometimes. I just look through the window to see if I can see mail on the floor. If the blinds are closed a few days on the trot you know they’re away.”

“I’ve never done a house when I’ve seen the TV on ‘cos you know someone is in.”

“A lot of lads may target a home based on the type of vehicle parked outside it. Most people advertise what cars they have as they don’t use their garages to park them in. They leave other stuff in there.”

The interviews have also shown how offenders got into their lives of crime, and how their criminal careers developed.

This information is being used in other departments across the force.

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