Who better to tell us what attracts a thief to our home than a thief? The insights offered by an experienced thief are hardly surprising; straightforward common sense tips that are fairly easy to follow. Expense is likely to be largely limited to a home security system.
One of the most important aspects of such a system is announcing it. Signs need to be placed in the yard, decals on doors and windows, and at the back of the house. These announce to onlookers that the home is protected by an alarm system and visual surveillance. Nothing deters a thief more certainly than a home security system.
Your presence in the home will not deter a thief. There is no point in installing a security system if alarms are left deactivated when the homeowner is in the house. Setting the alarm should be something you do every time you enter the house as soon as you shut the door behind you. Thieves are also increasingly likely to break in during the day. Much less vigilant during the day than before they go to bed at night, homeowners leave windows open, patio doors unlocked as they come and go with watering cans and coffee cups, and even front doors unlocked after seeing off the kids.
Care needs to be taken when putting out recycling, turning cardboard packaging inside out so that it does not announce your recent purchase of an enormous flat screen TV or a new laptop. Ideally, it should be placed in the car and driven to the recycling bin. Newspaper and mail deliveries need to be stopped when homeowners are away on vacation, and more discretion needs to be exercised when talking about vacation plans.
Finally, there is really nothing better than a shrill, yappy dog to deter thieves. Do not make the mistake of choosing a large breed, thinking size is of importance. The amount of noise the dog makes is the rub, and generally speaking, the smaller the dog, the bigger its mouth. These simple and, for the most part, inexpensive changes are easy ways to make another home more attractive to thieves than your own.