Preppers More Vulnerable to Theft and Break-ins: The Hidden Risks of The Prepper Lifestyle

Preppers More Vulnerable to Theft and Break-ins: The Hidden Risks of The Prepper Lifestyle

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Listen To This Article: (But don’t forget to watch the videos)

In this article, I’m going to show how our prepper lifestyle MIGHT make us more vulnerable to theft. How our independent tendencies might work against us. If we let them.

I will not be going over the basics that you’ve seen thousands of times before, like — don’t advertise that you’re a prepper, stay armed if you can, hide your valuables, get a security system, invest in cameras, etc.

Nope, we’ll focus today on what we can gain from advice from real burglars. Short and sweet, as always. 😅 (You’ll only know that’s funny if you’re a regular reader. If not…)

For your convenience, before we move on:
Or keep scrolling for more.

I based this perspective on a 2016 report by KGW’s Kyle Iboshi (Video embedded below), where he asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes and the raw video of an interview with a burglar who reveals how he breaks into homes.

A prepper lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular as more people feel the need to prepare for unexpected emergencies or disasters. This means fun stuff like stockpiling food, water, and other supplies, as well as learning skills like self-defense and survival tactics. While preparing for the worst can bring peace of mind, we don’t want to ignore the less fun things like our everyday home security and vulnerability to theft or break-ins to common everyday thieves.

Many Preppers Enjoy Seclusion

Secluded Home

Not all of us preppers prefer to live in a more secluded environment, but many of us do, myself included. At the risk of putting us all into a stereotypical doomsday box, that tendency to isolate and conceal our homes and homesteads could be risky without some thought behind it.

Think of it this way, if your house is sitting way up past a long driveway, does a crook need to worry about noise from smashing a window or kicking in a door? Even in a subdivision, if they know you’re not home and are conveniently hidden from surrounding traffic and people, there’s less risk and no need to hurry.

My dream home would be a thief magnet.

OPSEC: Operations security is a process that identifies critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence, determines if information obtained by adversaries …
Wikipedia

Do I believe preppers are at an even higher risk due to their visible preparations and valuable stockpiles? Maybe. If I was looking for food because something huge made it scarce, your chickens, gardens, and homestead might convince me that food might be available. But we’re not talking about hungry hoarders here. So no, just being a prepper, in itself, doesn’t make you more vulnerable to theft unless you’re being irresponsible when it comes to OPSEC, even online.

And…

The raw video: Burglar explains how he broke into homes

Insights We Can Gain From The Videos

  • Keep your windows locked, and check your bathroom windows.
  • Single-pane windows are great for burglars.
  • It takes less than a minute to break into a house on average.
  • If you have sliding patio doors, use a stick (like a broom handle) to close the doors tightly. Don’t rely on the door lock. He also mentioned that you could often lift the door and get the stick out, so you might want another lock.
  • The crook in the raw video says he looks for jewelry, cash, guns, and any small items easy to sell. Note preppers – he didn’t seem interested in your pantry food.
  • Common crooks aren’t sneaking around at night with a mask over their head. They’re trying to blend in as they case the area. They might have a pickup with a mower in the back or just walk around with a clipboard.
  • They might knock on the door to see if anyone’s home. If you are, they’ll make an excuse for why their there. Sorry, wrong address.
  • Big dogs might be a deterrent. Little dogs, not so much.
  • Most burglaries last around ten minutes. In and out. Experience helps crooks find valuables fast. Most burglars go to the bedrooms first. People tend to keep their jewelry and other valuables there.
  • People tend to keep safes and guns in the bedroom closet. He’ll even check between the mattresses.

Uh-oh, I need to rethink my closet contents. 🤯

The Apparently Ineffective Warning Signs I Use:

But they is so purrrty…

Side Note:

Notice I don’t have ridiculous signs like Protected By Smith & Wesson or Security By Winchester. Why give a prosecutor that kind of ammo?

Door Warning Signs
My front & back doors. Warning signs are on doors, gates, and all corners of my fences. Lights, motion sensor lights, and both outdoor & indoor cameras throughout. Screaming, ❝Come rob me?❞ I’m beginning to wonder.
  1. No Trespassing Sign(Aff)
  2. No Soliciting Sign(Aff)
  3. No Soliciting Sign(Aff)
  4. No Trespassing Sign(Aff)
  • Security signs mean nothing to crooks. If an alarm goes off, depending on many other factors, a successful burglary’s speed, and efficiency can make our security alarms no more than an incentive to move quickly and get out.
  • Closed drapes are a sign no one is home. Mail left in the mailbox is another sign.
  • Burglars didn’t like seeing a car in the driveway or hearing the TV on.

My Mom knew that! 💡

  • Lights on in the home didn’t really matter.
  • Burglars prefer mid-day for home break-ins.

Privacy Is Not Your Friend: Landscaping as the Perfect Cover for Burglaries

Hiding from those prying eyes is a double-edged sword. It gives intruders more time to get in and do their thing and makes us more vulnerable to theft. They need to make sure no one’s home. If they’ve been casing the property for a few days, they’ll know how much time they have.

  • Shrubs and other concealment appeal to crooks.
  • An enclosed porch offers more opportunities to kick the door in.
  • Fences, especially privacy fences, help conceal the burglar from being detected by the neighborhood.

Suggestions were to buy a camera and make it visible, know your neighbors, get a large dog, open the blinds, and make it appear someone is home.

Conclusion: Understanding How We’re More Vulnerable To Theft

How did the burglars’ insights about home security and burglary tactics change your perspective on your home’s vulnerabilities to theft and break-ins?

As a prepper community as a whole, we like to talk about the big SHTF events. When your house is broken into, and anything is stolen, it becomes an SHTF event for you. Honestly, which scenario is more likely?

Is it better to dig a hole in the ground to store a cache of emergency food and supplies or to take steps to help keep your home secure from break-ins? Do we have to choose? Sometimes it’s better to do a threat assessment and then build a realistic preparedness action plan before we start digging out the bunker.

“She stared at the Grinch and said, ‘Santy Claus, why, why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?’”

Dr. Seuss

I’m not saying we should cut down our trees and shrubs or rip our fences out, not at all. Understanding what criminals look for in a target can help us find holes in our security that need to be plugged. And I’m certainly not suggesting we keep our preps in the open and advertise to the world that we’re preppers. Of course, I kind of do that daily, but I’m a weirdo.

Your Thoughts? How Can We Be Less Vulnerable To Theft?

I know you thought of 15 things I missed while you were reading this. List them in the comments below so other preppers can benefit from them. Personally, trip sensors came to mind, but what good is that going to do when I’m at work? Just like indoor cameras — watching my stuff walk out the door doesn’t keep it from leaving. I’m keeping my cameras, though. I also keep my yard lit up like a ball field, but again, what does that matter at one o’clock in the afternoon?

Do the burglar’s comments about the importance of a secluded house align with your perceptions of home security? Do you feel more vulnerable to theft now? How might these factors influence your choice of a home or the way you maintain your current property? Personally, I always pictured someone breaking in very late at night. Let me know below.

Bonus Video: In case You Want To Learn More

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Stay safe. Stay prepared.
Hawkins out!

Preppers More Vulnerable to Theft and Break-ins: The Hidden Risks of The Prepper Lifestyle

Brian Hawkins

Father, grandfather, Veteran, animal lover, law-abiding taxpayer, homeowner, trucker, and a United States Citizen. Oh, and I'm also a prepper, survivalist, responsible gun owner, and hiker.

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