Burglars Do Come Back – The Same House, and the Same Neighborhood

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We know that burglars do come back to the scene of the crime. It may be a few days later, or even years later: after serving a three-year prison term, one serial burglar in FL even revisited a house he had previously broken into – and was caught again! In this report from Philadelphia, PA, a persistent pair of intruders targeted a home and then struck twice in four days. And in this case, police have video of the burglars.

Philadelphia police are looking for two burglars who attempted to hit the same house twice. Video of the two suspects, who tried to block their faces from a surveillance camera, was released by police on Monday. Police say, back on August 13th, the pair broke into a home on the 1500 block of South 13th Street. Investigators say the victims woke up to find their back door open and several items missing from their living room. Then, on August 16th, the suspects tried to hit the home again, but ran away when a burglary alarm went off.

There are several positive angles to this story. I like the presence of security cameras – like those sold by FrontPoint – since video footage should help police take these perps off the street. But I especially appreciate the fact that the burglar alarm scared the bad guys off the second time. We may never know if the burglar alarm was added during the four intervening days: perhaps the system was already there, and the homeowner just decided to be more disciplined about using a proven deterrent he had in place. Either way, it’s a known fact that burglar alarms do prevent home intrusions.

Same Houses – and Same Neighborhoods 

Burglars don’t just target the same house two or more times: they also “work” a neighborhood or community on a repetitive basis. And what’s more, it’s been well documented that burglars have a high rate of recidivism, meaning they may well serve jail time for home intrusion and later revert to that same form of crime on release. Here’s a telling tale from the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

An Allentown man admitted Wednesday to stealing about $98,000 worth of jewelry, cash, coins, electronics, handguns and other items in 41 home burglaries across the Lehigh Valley while on house arrest. Handcuffed and wearing a blue prison jumpsuit, Herman Ojeda Jr., 38, pleaded guilty to 41 counts of burglary and three counts of attempted burglary.

Drugs are Often Behind Criminal Activity

First Assistant District Attorney Steven Luksa described each burglary, digging cases out of a large pile sitting on top of Dantos’ bench. After describing each one, Luksa placed the files next to him on the floor. By the end of the hearing, the pile had spilled by his feet. After the hearing, Luksa said Ojeda has told authorities he committed the burglaries because he lost his job and bills were mounting. Luksa said Ojeda was also feeding a three-bag-a-day heroin addiction.

Routine Burglar Tactics

Almost all of the burglaries happened between noon and 3 p.m., when the homeowners were not there. Police said Ojeda would first knock at the door to see if anyone answered. He would also avoid homes with alarm systems. “He said he didn’t want to hurt anyone,” Luksa said. Luksa said Ojeda told authorities he committed at least one of the burglaries with his “mentor” who later died of a drug overdose. Police said in many of the burglaries, Ojeda would ransack the bedroom and leave other rooms untouched.

How Police Caught Him

Authorities said they were able to identify Ojeda as a suspect based on witness descriptions and a GPS device that he was required to wear because he was on house arrest. Luksa said Ojeda committed the burglaries during times he was permitted to leave his home. Luksa said defendants on house arrest can leave their homes for work, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping excursions and for other reasons. Luksa said Ojeda’s GPS device showed he was near the burglaries at the time they were committed.

One might assume that being forced to wear a device that reports your location would dissuade you from committing more burglaries – but not in this case.

As we’ve stated many times, the best deterrent to a break-in at your home is a monitored alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment. And if you’ve been broken into (or someone else in your neighborhood has), the very first thing you should do is add monitored security as your first line of protection. You deserve peace of mind, and that comes from the knowledge that you’re protecting your home and family. FrontPoint provides the best home security: safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. Just check the reviews, and you’ll see why so many homeowners choose FrontPoint over the competition.

 

Comments (19)

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  1. BB

    What if you were robbed outside of your house rather than in your house? Is it likely that the robbers will return?

    My husband and I were robbed at gunpoint after we pulled up in front of our house after Christmas shopping. Two men came up alongside the van and we didn’t know they were there until we were about to get out. They said: “Give me your money, or I’ll kill you.” One of them shot his gun. They made off with my purse, which had a few hundred dollars, my credit cards and checkbooks. Thankfully, we were not harmed, but I’m terrified that these men may return to rob us again. Now I live in constant fear.

    This was the first time in 22 years of owning our home that something like this has ever happened to us, but during the past few years, the neighborhood has gotten a lot worse and there are projects across the street, which is renown for its drug activity. We got a security system put in, but I still don’t feel safe now.

  2. elana

    But in my 8 plus yyears living like this, I never could afford alarm equipment. (Tiny disability check)

    Perhaps you could consider donating a system to your poorest, customers who r frequently in the most danger.

    Thank you

    Elana

  3. elana

    Ive lived in 5 low income, section 8 type environments. Horrifically, the burlars came almost daily from kune 05 to june 09. While congruently stalking my every move.

    June 09 after 8 year wait, my name came up for “rural section 8″ type program.

    I had a feeling, id b found. I was burglarized my first or second day. Absolute terror.

    After 6 months. I described the windmill on my front porch (on my blog) so whoever was harassing me in Baltimore City manage to find me in Carroll County Maryland where his Grimes stepped up significantly in their valence level. This continued for 22 months when I finally decided that I was going to have to flee since law enforcement was not helping me

    After abandoning my automobile apartment and all belongings except for a suitcase and a backpack I bled for a homeless shelter 2400 miles West

    • BB

      That’s awful! I’m so sorry. I hope you’re safe now.

  4. Max

    I need help on what I can do to stop a burglar. The problem is I know who they are as they live near my house. They robbed my car and my parents car multiple time but we have never reported most of the theft because they were minor things taken until recently where they took my siblings backpack with her textbook and pair of new shoes in the trunk. I would like to know if there’s an alternative to convict them without video evidence? More importantly the fact they will be release if they’re convicted makes me fear for my parents as those neighbor do have friends possibly related to vandalism of my parents business which has made me contemplate on whether I should go through with reporting them to the police.

  5. Frustrated

    I just have a question for you. I do have a home security alarm with a well-known company but it does not protect me. Every time I leave my house the crooks get in even the system is armed (almost 4 years now!). I believe they override the security system therefore the alarm does not go off and the cameras do not record and catch anything. They took my personal stuffs, used appliances in my house as if they are owner. I reported to the security company and they said they did not find anything suspicious and the police say there is no force entry. Please advise (Note: crooks even know exactly when I arm the system and leave the house)
    Thank You

  6. Just me

    Hi, my house was almost broken into last night through my patio door. The police said that one more swipe from the culprits screwdriver and he would have been in. He also said that the burglar must have gotten spooked because you don’t get that close to entry and not go in. My question is, seeing they almost got in, what are the chance they will come back?

    • Valerie Saponara

      First, we would like to let you know how sorry we are you had to experience something like this. Dealing with a close-call burglary can be very upsetting and leave people feeling vulnerable. We’re glad to hear that thief did not get into your home and you have taken steps to protect yourself. Clearly something spooked the thief, and it’s a great thing it did.

      Second, when it comes to the chances of a second break-in attempt, we honestly cannot determine the chances of this happening again. There is really no way to tell, and the best thing you can do is make sure you’re reevaluating all the protection you’re using in your home and if needed, take steps to bulk up on that specific protection. Please feel free to give us a call if you’re questioning your current security setup. Our trained Security Consultants would be happy to help you in any way they can!

  7. Lady C

    Just don’t be that person you flaunts what they’ve got. Be humble and cut up your big flat screen box to put inside the trash can or don’t flash your worth around in your nice car. Stay low-key and you might not be targeted so quickly.

  8. Amanda Greene

    I was recently burglarized. I suggest getting a dog. I’m certainly getting one after this.

  9. Taylor

    Burglars are determined and will hit any target of opportunity. The only way to prevent a break in (and it doesn’t even work 100% of the time) is to have someone home all the time. The knock knock burglar will have someone answer the door, give their crappy schpiel and leave. Unfortunately that is a luxury that few people have.

    I have rented rooms in my house to subtenants for years and with everyone’s different schedules there’s usually someone home and anyone casing the place can’t make rhyme nor reason as to whether there is someone there or not. Some of the subtenants drive and some dont, the car is not a good indicator. Someone knocks on the door and usually someone answers.

    But, theives are theives and the first day there was actually nobody at my house it was broken into. All the crap in the above article was done, mail collected trash brought back in doors and windows all secured and they just smashed the bathroom window. They really should just chop these people’s hands off. They are losers who want something for nothing and the crap they take is usually of little value.

  10. Adam Kutner

    This is a very nice article. A few things I would add:
    -Do not leave papers and advertisements laying outside all over your lawn.
    -Mow your grass
    -Don’t allow strangers into your house(really, no need to even open the door if you are not expecting someone), even if they “have to make an emergency phone call” or they are “going to wet themselves”
    -Don’t tell strangers you are “home alone” or “gone to work all day” or that your husband “won’t be home for hours” for any reason. (A stranger is also someone who claims to know someone you know, but that you have not been aquainted with.)
    -Be aware: if you are going to be braking a rule because someone has given you a good story, be realistic about it, and ask yourself if the situation really makes sense. Most of the time, there is NO reason someone needs to gain access to your domicile or private information other than for malicious purposes.
    There I go, trailing off topic again, sorry, still, great article lol

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Adam – great suggestions! The issue of people coming to the door has gotten a lot more press these days, with the increase in “knock knock” burglaries. In these instances, burglars will knock on doors to see who is home and who is not. If nobody answers, they will try a back or side door or window to gain entry. If they do find someone at home, they will make up a story: looking for directions, had the wrong address, etc. Police across the US are asking people to submit details on these people (descriptions, license plate numbers if a car is involved, etc.) to help stem the tide and take these perps off the street. And you are right about NEVER letting that person in your home. Thanks again!

  11. Adam Kutner

    This is a very nice article. A few things I would add:
    -Do not leave papers and advertisements laying outside all over your lawn.
    -Mow your grass
    -Don’t allow strangers into your house(really, no need to even open the door if you are not expecting someone), even if they “have to make an emergency phone call” or they are “going to wet themselves”
    -Don’t tell strangers you are “home alone” or “gone to work all day” or that your husband “won’t be home for hours” for any reason. (A stranger is also someone who claims to know someone you know, but that you have not been aquainted with.)
    -Be aware: if you are going to be braking a rule because someone has given you a good story, be realistic about it, and ask yourself if the situation really makes sense. Most of the time, there is NO reason someone needs to gain access to your domicile or private information other than for malicious purposes.
    There I go, trailing off topic again, sorry, still, great article lol

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Adam – great suggestions! The issue of people coming to the door has gotten a lot more press these days, with the increase in “knock knock” burglaries. In these instances, burglars will knock on doors to see who is home and who is not. If nobody answers, they will try a back or side door or window to gain entry. If they do find someone at home, they will make up a story: looking for directions, had the wrong address, etc. Police across the US are asking people to submit details on these people (descriptions, license plate numbers if a car is involved, etc.) to help stem the tide and take these perps off the street. And you are right about NEVER letting that person in your home. Thanks again!

  12. Ian

    I would say there is more to protecting your home than using an alarm. Being smart about what you do with your belongings and not advertising that you’re leaving your house are two important points, too.

    • Cassandra Dobkins

      Couldn’t agree with you more Ian! Much more goes into protecting your home other than using an alarm system, but as I am sure you know being in the security world yourself, an alarm system is a very important part. We talk about not advertising your belongings, which is so commonly forgotten. Personally, I don’t think twice about putting a box of a large consumer electronic (like a TV or sound system) out by the trash but that is a clear advertisement of what is inside the house. Proper precautions could make a world of difference.

  13. Ian

    I would say there is more to protecting your home than using an alarm. Being smart about what you do with your belongings and not advertising that you’re leaving your house are two important points, too.

    • Cassandra Dobkins

      Couldn’t agree with you more Ian! Much more goes into protecting your home other than using an alarm system, but as I am sure you know being in the security world yourself, an alarm system is a very important part. We talk about not advertising your belongings, which is so commonly forgotten. Personally, I don’t think twice about putting a box of a large consumer electronic (like a TV or sound system) out by the trash but that is a clear advertisement of what is inside the house. Proper precautions could make a world of difference.

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