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Neighbors of DuPage

City of Darien: Tips from a burglar

On March 6, 2017, the Today Show aired a program called “How to protect your home from burglaries: Thieves tell all.” It was a story of Nicholas Kyriazis a convicted burglar who estimated that he had burglarized at least 100 homes. Today’s national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen interviewed Kyriazis to get tips on how keep your home from being a target of burglary. This is what the interview revealed.

Have a neighbor collect your mail when you’re away. Mail in the mailbox signals burglars that no one is home.

Leave your car outside. Kyriazis said, “If there are no cars in the driveway, there’s a good chance there is no one home.”

Thieves often strike in the morning. More than half of convicted burglars surveyed said they target homes in the morning (8:00am to 2:00pm).

Don’t assume an alarm system will protect you. Kyriazis said, “Alarm system alerts me that the people are not home when the alarm is turned on.” This is a “professional” burglar—many burglars are not as prolific as this person and alarms can be a deterrent. They just are not a panacea.

Don’t assume home security cameras will protect you. Kyriazis said, “People got money for security cameras, they got something in there they’re protecting.” Again this person is a frequent burglar; cameras do give some deterrent value. A proper camera properly installed can yield evidence after a crime.

Have a neighbor watch your house. One of the best things for burglary prevention.

Lock up when you leave. Many people leave doors and windows unlocked, and thieves take advantage. “I’ve never carried burglary tools.” Kyriazis said. The Darien Police Department has made mention of this fact numerous times. In the 2016 annual report they reported that in nearly 80% of theft related crimes, the property was not secured.

Dogs can be a good deterrent. Kyriazis said a barking dog would give him pause.

• Never engage a burglar. Thieves and experts agree that if you come upon a burglary in progress, the best option is to leave, find a safe place and call 911 immediately.