Everything Home Security: Watch Out for These Burglary Trends 2014

Posted by , , at 2:32 pm

Good news: burglary is trending downward. According to the FBI, in 2012, there was a 3.7 percent decrease in burglaries since 2011. And preliminary 2013 data indicates that property crimes – burglaries, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft – decreased by 5.4 percent.

This is great news, but unfortunately, it’s also a silver lining to a large problem. There are still far too many burglaries occurring in the U.S. — more than 2 million per year. And burglars are consistently finding new ways to steal your belongings. Here’s what they’re up to in 2014.

Five Burglary Trends in 2014

  1. Metal detectors – To quickly get in and out of a victim’s home, burglars are using metal detectors to find where you hide your valuables.
  2. Cash for gold – Burglars are carrying cash-for-gold envelopes during their break-ins, allowing them to immediately turn in their stolen goods for profit. This also allows them to quickly get rid of any evidence tying them to the burglary.
  3. Marking targets – If a random sticker appears on your door, be weary – it could be a burglar marking your house as a target after surveillance. The sticker could even appear to be from a real company, but keep in mind that companies do not have the right to mark your property without consent.
  4. Garage theft – Garages are becoming increasingly popular targets for thieves, as they’re usually less protected and easier to access. They also often contain valuable items – like bikes, tools, boxes of goodies, etc. – and have a door leading to the main part of the house.
  5. Apple picking – A term derived from the popularity of the Apple iPhone, burglars are ‘picking’ smartphones from pockets and even straight from the hands of unsuspecting victims.

Dangers of Oversharing

In addition to being an attractive target for burglars, smartphones are involved with another burglary trend.  It has to do with how you use them, especially in regards to social media.

Seemingly insignificant shares reveal information about your current location. Checking into a restaurant, posting pictures at the beach and a simple tweet about the movie you’re watching might seem harmless, but a burglar will view them as announcements that your home is currently empty – and ripe for the picking.

Be careful of oversharing on social media. Find out what you should avoid sharing in this previous blog post.

Smart Home Security Breach

The final – but certainly not the last – burglary trend to watch out for involves smart homes. The technology itself isn’t the problem, but rather it’s the way people are using smart technology.

Smart devices need to connect to the internet, so people connect it to their home WiFi network – the same network used for a smartphone, computer and tablet. Unfortunately, most users do not protect their smart devices and as a result, hackers and thieves can hack those devices and gain access to the entire network. Sensitive information – credit cards, bank accounts, social security – are all up for grabs.

Fortunately, you can protect yourself by separating your smart devices from your computer and phone by creating different networks, either by yourself or with the help of a computer technician.

Up-to-Date Protection

Burglars are constantly trying to find new ways to break in, but they’re also confounded when it comes to wireless home security systems. There’s simply no better way to protect your home and have peace of mind.

Stay tuned! We’re always here to provide you with new tips, trends and information.

Comments (20)

Post a Comment | View Comments
  1. Clay Richardson

    I would also like to know more about long range sensors for out buildings. Thanks

    • Gilbert Cho

      Hi Clay! Although you won’t find them listed on our website, we do offer Long-Range Door and Window Sensors. These are larger than the standard Door and Window Sensors, but they’ll give you the boost in range that will help you monitor doors or windows that are a bit further away from your Control Panel.

      I’ll let one of our Customer Support Specialists reach out to you shortly to help you out. Please let us know if there’s any else you need assistance with!

  2. Clay Richardson

    I would also like to know more about long range sensors for out buildings. Thanks

  3. Dave

    Ditto on the doorbell.

  4. Dave

    Ditto on the doorbell.

  5. James B

    What I’d love to see is a way to customize which nodes are included in Armed Stay and Armed Away. The point you make about the garage is a perfect example – I would love to include the motion detector in my garage, but not the rest of the house, in Stay mode. Is there currently a way to achieve this, or are there any future plans to allow for this? Thanks!

    • Gilbert Cho

      Hi James! Excellent question. It sounds like you want to find a way to arm a single sensor while the rest of your system remains in Stay Mode. Well, great news – there’s currently a way to do this!

      There’s so some stuff we need to do on our end to make this work, but it’s a very short and easy process. I’ll have one of our Customer Support Specialists contact you soon to assist you through this process. Please also feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.

      Thanks!

      • James B

        Thanks for the quick turnaround Gilbert, I’m all set!

  6. Derek

    I strongly believe it would be useful to have a way to arm the system ‘instantly’. Currently when you arm the system there is a 30 second delay to allow you to exit your home, I do realise that the delay can be modified but it never can be zero (instant on). This is useful if you are in the house and your system is not armed and you wanted to arm it immediately by perhaps just pressing one button, then your doors and window sensors would arm instantly. I would love to see this feature incorporated in the system.

    • Jamie Botzer

      Hi Derek, I understand why you’d like to have the instant arming function. There has been a lot of research and testing done on this topic (I am sure Peter can speak more to this given his experience), and it’s industry standard to allow for that delay to keep accidental false alarms at bay. There are many jurisdictions around the country that fine homeowners for false alarms, and the last thing we want is for our customers to be charged local fees because of an accident.

      I’m sorry that we’re not able to give you this functionality, but appreciate you sharing your feedback.

      • Derek

        Jamie,

        Thank you for your response. I do understand your concern for false alarms with an ‘instant on’ feature, however I still believe that it is needed. It can be implemented as a feature that can be activated or deactivated, especially for those who find it useful. Thanks again.

  7. Roy Moore

    Need a Zwave doorbell that sends text to mobile when someone rings the door. Common tactic is for criminal to ring the doorbell and if no one responds chick down the front door for a grab and dash.

    • Gilbert Cho

      Hi Roy! You’re absolutely right, burglars will often go straight up to a door – usually pretending to be a service worker – to see if anyone is home. Currently, as you already know, Z-Wave doorbells are not supported on the FrontPoint system, but it’s a great suggestion and we’re actively looking to include this functionality in the future.

      In the meantime, the FrontPoint system does support Z-wave door locks. These locks are a safer alternative with many coming in deadbolt form. They can also notify you when a code is incorrectly entered, and whenever the lock is locked, unlocked, or no longer emitting a signal (which is a sign of being tampered with).

      I hope this helps! Thank you again for the suggestion and please feel free to reach out to us if you have any further suggestions or questions.

      • TP

        I’m addition to the doorbell alert feature, I’d like to have a remote speaker / mic w/camera so I can ‘answer’ the door through my phone. Then I can appear home, see who’s at the door & converse with the visitor.

        • Jakob

          I’d love to see a compatible doorbell come out for my Frontpoint system.

  8. Terry Pressel

    We need long range devices to be able to monitor outbuildings, barns etc.

    • Gilbert Cho

      Hi Terry, thanks for the comment.

      We have long-range Door and Window sensors that will help you monitor areas that are a bit further away, like an outbuilding or barn. One of our Support Specialists will be reaching out to your shortly to help you get what you need. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help!