It doesn't make a difference if you live in a neighborhood designated bad, good, or based on crime rate. Everyone is at risk of criminal activity. Even those who live on wide open acreage whose neighbors are a great distance from them. That only makes the criminals think that they are less likely to be noticed in the event of a crime. You may have never had the inconvenience of a home invasion, but to look at the facts may make you think. It's only a matter of time until an in-home surveillance system will come in useful.

Many people use the terms burglary and robbery interchangeably, but there is a significant difference. Burglary involves breaking and entering a structure with the intent to commit a crime. Robbery, however, is defined as the theft of property or money through the threat of violence. A victim must be present in order for a crime to be considered robbery. Additionally, burglary deems it unnecessary for theft to be committed, and a crime classified as a robbery requires theft to occur.

Let's review some statistics. What are the odds that your home will be burglarized this year? Data from the FBI 2012 crime report shows that we can expect one in every thirty-six homes in the United States to be burglarized this year, resulting in an average loss of $2,230 per break in (totaling $4.7 billion in property losses). These numbers do not account for any additional psychological costs to the homeowners, as burglary victims may subsequently live in fear and harbor feelings of personal violation. And that is saying that the crime happens with the victim being completely unaware. Think about the safety risk if you are present during the burglary.

Burglaries general take place between 6am and 6pm, while you are at work or running errands. The criminal usually enters through the front door and heads straight for the master bedroom. This is where they will find items that are high value and easy to pawn (jewelry, weapons, electronics). Based on the numbers, a burglary happens every 15 seconds in the US.

The Uniform Crime Reporting Program has tracked 100 years of crime statistics in the United States.

  • Burglary accounted for 22.1 percent of the estimated number of property crimes committed in 2007.
  • Of all burglaries, 61.1 percent involved forcible entry, 32.4 percent were unlawful entries (without force), and the remainder (6.5 percent) were forcible entry attempts.
  • In 2007, burglary offenses cost victims an estimated $4.3 billion in lost property; overall, the average dollar loss per burglary offense was $1,991.
  • Burglary of residential properties accounted for 67.9 percent of all burglary offenses.
  • Offenses for which time of occurrence was known showed that 57.4 percent of burglaries took place during the day and 42.6 percent at night.
  • Offenses for which time of occurrence was known showed that more residential burglaries (63.6 percent) occurred during the daytime while 56.4 percent of nonresidential burglaries occurred during nighttime hours.

The Washington Post put many of the recent statistics in the image below.

Washington Post Image