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21 Things a Burglar Won’t Tell You

Is it a crime to spend money on a home security system these days? A look inside the mind of convicted burglars will help you decide.

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 I'll look familiar

Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator. Here are 22 signs your house is vulnerable to being robbed.

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Don't let me use your bathroom

Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

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Your yard gives us a lot of clues

Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste … and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have. By the way, this is the most common time for burglaries–and it's not at night.

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 We know when you're away for a long time

Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it. This is the state where you're most likely to get robbed.

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 Create tracks in the snow

If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway. Here's another way to avoid being an easy target for criminals.

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 Glass doors are our best friends

If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy. Here are 13 signs your house is being watched.

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We target certain windows

A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too. While you're at it, you should memorize these tricks to outsmart criminals, too.

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 We aren't scared of a little rain

It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather. Find out what evidence some dumb criminals left behind.

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We try to come off as polite

I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.) Here are some secrets a home security installer won't tell you.

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 We know you hide things in your drawers

Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet. Word of advice: Find better hiding places for your valuables.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest