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Burglary Statistics

Last updated 27th Jun 2022
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On this page you will learn some interesting and surprising burglary statistics that highlight the severity of the crime. Burglary is one of the most common crimes in the world and a big worry for homeowners. Despite security products, a huge industry that helps homeowners with protection from break-ins, burglary is still common.

We share the statistics in several categories to help you learn more about different aspects of burglaries.

General Burglary Statistics

In this section we will be taking a look at some general statistics for burglaries. These may help you learn more about burglaries or dispel some misconceptions you might have had.

Burglaries occur once every 30 seconds

This statistic shows how frequently in the US burglaries occur, which is 2 burglaries every minute of the day and night. With up to 3,000 burglaries per day, that is a lot of police work to find the culprits for each break-in. However, not all burglaries get reported, so the actual number might be even higher.

Source: FBI, Uniform Crime Reporting

Burglars who use violence only occurs in 7% of incidents

This statistic indicates that most burglars are there just to steal the goods or money. They have no interest in harming the occupants of the home. Assault is the most commonly reported form of violence during a burglary. Of the 7% of incidents involving violence, 36% result in mental trauma or minor physical injuries. Therefore, the chances of physical bodily harm from a burglary is very low.

Source: State of the USA

New Zealand has 1,354 burglaries per 100,000 inhabitants – the highest rate in the world

New Zealand has the highest burglary rate while countries like Brazil, Morocco and Indonesia have some of the lowest. The burglary rate statistics might somewhat depend on the way the crime is reported. The way statistics are organised and labelled in different countries varies, so the rate can be heavily skewed from the true values.

Source: Statista

85% of burglaries are not carried out by professionals

Statistics show that most burglaries are not executed by professionals. In many cases they happen by opportunists in circumstances they did not plan for.

Source: Alarms.org

Burglaries are only responsible for 17.1% of all property crime

You might assume that most crimes related to the home are burglaries, but that is not the case. Other crimes are also common such as motor vehicle theft, which accounts for 10.4% of all home crimes. However, burglaries have the biggest share of the pie.

Source: FBI

88% of home invasions are unplanned

It is a surprising statistic, but the majority of burglaries are not planned. This indicates that it is a spur of the moment crime for the most part. Nevertheless, since many home invasions are not planned, it suggests that home security systems would be more effective against those criminals.

Source: Science Daily

Most home burglaries last less than 10 minutes

Many burglaries have a duration of 8-10 minutes, with some over in under 90 seconds. Therefore, burglars cannot be picky about what they take. Choosing the items to steal needs to be a fast process. In most cases, it includes items such as electronics, prescription drugs, cash and jewellery.

Source: Protect Your Home

Paying for a drug habit is the reason why 88% of burglars committed the crime

The University of North Carolina conducted a survey that revealed interesting information about why burglars steal from homeowners. 51% shared that they needed the cash to buy drugs, but a further 37% said they wanted the money which would eventually be used to buy drugs. Arguably, for drug addicts the pursuit of the next score is worth the risk of getting caught during a burglary.

Source: University of North Carolina

Burglary Financial Statistics

Here we will explore the statistics that describe the amounts stolen and the severity of the problem. This allows homeowners to put the problem into perspective when deciding if investing in a home security system is worth the effort.

On average $2,661 is stolen during a single burglary

Having nearly $3,000 stolen from your home is a significant chunk of money for most, especially if they live from one paycheck to the next. Furthermore, some items might be stolen or damaged that are irreplaceable. This can take an emotional toll that is not quantifiable by numbers. In fact, most people report that they have trouble sleeping at night after a burglary and their mental health was negatively impacted.

Source: Safewise.com

There is a 2x chance of being burgled if you are renting instead of being a homeowner

The reason why renters are more prone to being a burglary victim could be because they are less prepared. The renter may not have permission or the enthusiasm to install a home security system. Meanwhile, the owner may not care about the personal items of the renter to install one. The lack of security means burglars are not steered away from preventative measures.

Source: US Bureau of Justice

Car owners lose $8,407 on average per burglary event

Motor vehicle thefts are actually more expensive than the average home invasion. That might be because it is difficult to steal enough items from a home that equates to the value of a car. Therefore, it makes sense to protect your car even more than your home.

Source: Insurance Information Institute

Honda Civic is the most commonly stolen car in the United States

Honda Civic is by no means the most expensive car on the road, but it is the most common one that is stolen. This might be because it is easier to break into, which is an important criteria for the burglar.

Source: Insurance Information Institute

Burglary Prevention Statistics

Now let us turn our attention to statistics that share homeowners' readiness level to combat burglaries. This will give you an idea of if more could be done to tackle the problem.

Only 25% of Americans have a home security system

Only a quarter of Americans have home security systems, which is a small number when you consider the widespread nature of burglary. Homeowners could be better equipped to prevent burglaries. The lack of deterrence might be an oversight or a lack of money to invest in the security system. However, affordable technologies exist, so there is no excuse for most homeowners not to look into adding some preventive measures.

Source: Safewise.com

Since 2008, burglaries in the US have decreased by 37%

According to the FBI, there is an overall positive trend regarding the number of burglaries that are committed. Across the US, burglaries are down by 37%, which is a large number. The fall in the crime rate might result from improved living standards, the movement of crime to digital form or better preventive measures.

Source: FBI

Homes without a security system are 3 times more likely to get targeted

It is not hard to understand why homes without a security system are more likely to be targeted by burglars. It shows that the homeowner does not have preventative measures which could cause trouble for the home invader. Burglars understand how to spot home security systems and look for them when casing a neighbourhood.

Source: Reolink

Only 34% respondents shared they would think twice about burglary when hearing a dog barking

Around a 3rd of burglars would be put off from the sound of a barking dog. Therefore, it is a preventative measure, but in most cases it is not enough to scare away the home invaders. The size of the dog when visible might play a role too. Adding stickers or signs that a large dog is guarding the home might also help deter burglars.

Source: 24/7 Home Security

Statistics on How Burglaries are Carried Out

In this section, we will explore statistics that reveal how burglaries take place, which includes the conditions and time of day or season. This allows homeowners to figure out the weaknesses that burglars aim to exploit.

The highest rate for burglaries is the summer months

Summer consistently receives the highest burglary rates. The rates are lower by 11% in the Winter, by 9% in the Spring and 6% in Autumn. The reason for this statistic might be because of the vacant homes when the owners go on holiday. This leaves the homes empty and no occupants to deter the burglars. Home security systems are available that allow owners to check the status of their home while in a different country.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

According to the FBI, in 2018, 51% of burglaries occurred during the day while 32% were at night

You might be surprised to learn that most burglaries happen during the day. However, this might be because that is when homeowners are out at work and daylight allows the burglar to see their way around. In some states, the penalty for burglaries is significantly higher if the occupants suffer injuries, so targeting vacant homes is less risky.

Source: FBI

Around 34% of burglaries are carried out through the front door

A third of home invasions happen at the front door and 22% are through the back. This means that over half of break-ins happen via a door. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on these areas of the home when choosing preventive measures. Another 23% of home invasions occur via the ground floor window.

Source: Reolink

Around 48% of burglars shared they would avoid a home if they heard noise coming from inside

One of the best deterrents for burglars is the noise coming from inside the house. This allows potential home invaders to figure out that somebody is inside the house and they should look for an easier target. Most burglars target vacant homes since it is much easier. Also, being inside the home or at an office nearby is also rated as an effective deterrent.

Source: 24/7 Security

Compared to urban states, the rural ones receive more burglaries

You might assume that states like California and New York will suffer from higher burglary rates because there is a higher population density. However, the highest burglary rates are found in rural states. This might be because the police response time in rural areas is lower and there are fewer people to scare burglars away from a neighbourhood.

Source: USDA

Final thoughts

Many burglaries happen every year in the US and around the world. However, homeowners can reduce the chances of being targeted by taking preventive measures such as installing home security systems. Also, neighbourhoods can pitch in and help one another spot prowlers and opportunists that might be operating in the area.

Overall, the trend is that burglaries are reducing every year. Therefore, the chances of being a victim are going down. Use the statistics above to find out the weak spots that burglars look for and be proactive about protecting your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you do after a burglary?
What are free ways of reducing burglary attempts?
How can you reduce the chances of being a burglary victim?
Can you get PTSD from a burglary event?

References

Our content quality team consulted the following expert sources to maximise the value and accuracy of this page:

  1. FBI, Uniform Crime Reporting
  2. Statista
  3. Alarms.org
  4. Science Daily
  5. University of North Carolina
  6. Safewise.com
  7. US Bureau of Justice
  8. Insurance Information Institute
  9. Reolink
  10. 24/7 Home Security
  11. USDA
Keith Hodges

Keith Hodges