Burglaries are some of the most common property crimes a homeowner faces. According to the 2012 FBI Crime Statistics, one in 36 homes was victimized by a burglar. While this crime seems random, there are certain signs a property owner can look for to see if their home is a target for thieves.

Burglars tend to look for homes that they know contains high-value property. Popular items include jewelry, expensive electronics, or firearms. If they realize you have any of these in your home, they may try to mark your home as a sign to fellow criminals to hit your house.

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While most people imagine cat burglars breaking in under the cover of night, most burglaries actually happen during the day. Burglars target homes when they know the owners are off at work. They may even ring a doorbell first to see if anyone answers. If no one comes, they may try to sneak around the back door or look for an open window.

It’s rare, however, that a burglar just comes in at random without knowing there is something worth stealing. Most burglars are in and out in under ten minutes, meaning they don’t want to waste time looking through a home that may have little worth stealing. That’s why they tend to leave little signs outside marking a particular home. Here are some things to look for to prevent your home from being targeted.

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The first thing you’ll want to do is look for any strange vehicles that may be idling on your street or outside your home. If you notice a car acting suspiciously, they may be casing your block to see how much activity is on it. If you notice such a vehicle, make note of the make, model, and license plate of the vehicle.

You may also see people randomly wandering your neighborhood on foot. They may look like they’re just passing through, but they could be looking for high-value targets.

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This is especially true if they’re trying to peer in windows or walk around the side of a house when they have no business doing so. Calling the police may be your best option if you notice suspicious activity.

Something to look for on the front of your home is anything that looks out of place, which may indicate burglars have marked your home. In England, for instance, burglars were leaving small white stones outside of homes that they knew had expensive items inside. If you notice something like this or some strange markings on the sidewalk or street, call the police right away.

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To help prevent your home from being burglarized, make sure that you lock all windows and doors when you’re not home. You may also want to keep valuable items out of eyeshot of the window to make it more difficult for robbers to see high-ticket items.

If you’re especially vulnerable to robbery, you may want to get security cameras and an alarm system. Burglars are much less likely to rob a home if they see your security system.

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By paying attention to your neighborhood and keeping your home secure, you can potentially prevent a burglar from entering your home.