Convicted burglar shares the tricks of his trade -

Thief shares the tricks of his trade

In the United States, a burglary occurs every 13 seconds - that's more than 6,600 every single day. So how safe is your home?

To get some advice, we spoke with a "professional" - a convicted thief who revealed the tricks of his trade so you can do your best to keep people like him out of your house.

With supervision from the local sheriff's department, we went to a home with the convicted burglar so he could show us just what he would do if this were a "job" of his.

The home we went to was secluded, on a heavily-wooded lot. We knew he would mention the trees providing good cover, but the second thing out of his mouth was a surprise.

"The doors are lightweight. They're real easy to open," he said.

That was just the first of a number of things he saw that many of us would never have thought about. He said he would probably have two friends with him. They would hide the car in the woods. One would stay with the car, and the other two would go to the house.

First, they'd want to make sure nobody was home.

"Somebody would probably knock on the front door," he said. If nobody answered, that was their invitation inside.

He said with a flathead screw driver and a crowbar, you can get into any house. A sliding glass door in back is the easiest spot for entry.

Once inside the house, his first stop would be the living room.

"That's where most of the electronics are going to be," he said. "TV, Playstation, Blu-ray or DVR."

Flat screen TVs are light enough these days for one person to carry - not to mention a computer and laptop. Our burglar is big on electronics because they're easy to sell.

From there, it's off to the master bedroom. There may be a flat screen TV he would take. He's also looking for jewelry, cash left in drawers or even a safe, often times kept in a closet.

In this home, he spotted some rifles in a closet that he'd steal. At that point, he said he would be finished.

He's conscious of time. He'd try to be in and out in five or 10 minutes.

His partner in the vehicle would then pull into the garage, and they'd load up the loot. He said this "hypothetical haul" would be close to $3,000. He also said it would take him no longer than 30 minutes to sell the stolen stuff.

"Pawn shops are going to take it regardless," he said when asked who buys the stolen goods.

Pawn shops are supposed to check ID's and serial numbers, but he said there are pawn shop owners who know him.

In fact, he said they know all the burglars in the area. It's a network.

They buy it and sell it to another pawn shop. Nobody is turned in. Everybody makes money. That's why this burglar calls it addictive.

"You know for a fact somebody's going to buy this," he said.

So how do we stop them?

They're not going to show up at night. They don't want a confrontation, so they'll show up in the morning. That's when the kids are at school and the parents are at work.

"Between 8:00 and 3:00, nobody's home," he said.

Dead bolts on your doors, especially the light doors he mentioned, can be popped with a crowbar – and the same thing with your windows.

He said most burglars can disarm alarm systems. In the case of surveillance cameras, they just cover their faces and remove their car tag.  

And don't leave home with your blinds open. For burglars, it's like window shopping.

"They call it advertising," he said.

He also said leaving children's toys outside is a red flag.

"If they've got kids, more than likely they have game systems," he notes.

This burglar said at least twice to us that the best thing you can do is to "love thy neighbor," whether it's a community watch program, or just informal. 

"Have your neighbors look out for each other," he said.

You have to watch for burglars because, rest assured, they're watching you. This burglar says he prefers cities, neighborhoods where the homes are close together. That way, he said, he can hit five or six homes in an hour.

And how much money can they make?

He said one week, he pocketed more than $15,000.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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