Burglary is the illegal entry into a property with intent to commit a crime or theft. One of the most common types of crime, this criminal offense is also known as a “crime of opportunity.” According to statistics, there were over 2,000,000 incidents of burglaries in the United States in 2011. Sixty-six percent of this number is residential or home break-ins, while about thirty percent happened through an open or unlocked window or door.
While the prevalence of burglary in the country is decreasing, as many homeowners have seen the importance of home alarm and security systems, this type of crime still affects millions of people worldwide.
The Elements of Burglary
As defined by Sir Matthew Hale, burglary is breaking and entering the house of a person during night time, with intent to commit a crime. While the elements of burglary may vary between jurisdictions, the most common include trespassing, breaking, entering, and intent. The trespassing element of the offense means that the crime occurred without the consent of the victim. Breaking involves creating an opening for entry into the building or property while entering is the act that follows the breaking. This element may involve physical entry by a person, or insertion of an instrument to remove a property. Intent refers to the aim or purpose to commit the crime at the time of breaking and entering into a property.
When Do Burglaries Occur?
While most burglaries occur during nighttime, there are a number of incidents that happen during daytime. As most people are at work or school, or running errands during the day, many burglars break into homes to steal properties of value. Reports suggest that residential burglaries occur during weekdays. Thieves often enter homes through an open or unlocked front or back door and by breaking glass doors and windows. July and August are the most frequent months for break-ins, as most homeowners are usually away from their home on a vacation.
How Do Burglaries Happen?
Burglars often target unoccupied homes with easy access, great amount of cover, and best escape routes. They usually break into homes that have no occupants. Burglars may disguise as plumbers, cleaners, and carpenters who offer different home improvement services to homeowners. When property owners hire their services, they take the opportunity to study the house’s escape routes and safety features to plan for a seamless break-in.
Don’t let burglars break into your home or property. By installing home security systems, you can make your home as burglar-free as possible. Click here to learn more about home security and alarm systems.