Many homeowners are asking whether there are signs that the house is targeted when burglars are on the prowl for new targets.

Indeed, there are some trails and scents lingering and swirling in the air left by would-be perpetrators (figuratively), and you can sniff out dangers of your house being targeted by potential intruders.

So how can you tell someone is about to burgle or case your house without leaving you wrangling and fuming about the loss you have to sustain?

Signs Someone Is Casing Your House & Your House Is Being Targeted by Burglars.

Mounting evidence support that lurking strikers and intruders are testing out new gimmicks to get access to the new property, which is becoming worrying concerns for many urban dwellers, especially those who live in secluded houses because they are more vulnerable to burglary even in a broad daylight.

Burglary Warning Signs

We share some commons burglary warning signs, some unusual signs of houses being cased and targeted by burglars

1. Unfamiliar Vehicles: New Cars or Vehicles on the Street or Neighborhood

Unfamiliar vehicles loiter around the neighborhood will surely raise concerns, especially when the vehicle sticks around over an extended period of time and repeatedly shows up on an irregular basis.

Initially, it's advisable to take note of the license number and make a document with all the pertinent information, including time, date, make of vehicle, description of the person for future reference, more importantly, keep an eye on your property by resorting to home video surveillance if condition permitting.

2. Strangers Walk Around the Street or Neighborhood

People who are living in the same community, neighborhood or village should be familiar with each other. Strangers pretending jogging in the street or walking down the block back and forth should set off a red flag – house casing.

Here is one video captured by Reolink RLK8-410B4 security camera system (shared by a concerned homeowner).

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3. Door-to-door Scams

Some burglars would do surveillance around the neighborhood by pretending to be a salesman of a utility company, handyman offering free roof repairs or free carpet cleaning, anonymous survey or asking for money and donation for care packages to soldiers, all sorts of door-to-door sales representatives to check out your house.

Many door-to-door scammers are trying to case houses and find out who lives in the home, What time the house would be empty and for how long, what are their weekday schedules (weekends are too unpredictable), what they drive, is there a dog, a hidden key and so on.

Front door security cameras could also record evidence of door-to-door scams.

4. Mark the House with Flyers or Stickers

Burglars will scout potential targets for strikes by sending out commercial flyers or sticking ads around the streets, with which they determine whether the houses are guarded or not.

If you deal with these agitating flyers in a timely manner, you can possibly avoid being stamped a bull's eye by would-be intruders as they might use flyers to mark the targets for robbery.

Therefore, it comes handy if you have necessary surveillance cameras, like Reolink Argus 2 around your house, especially around entrances, front door, driveway, garage, and patio.

Or using 4G-enabled security cameras to monitor part of the house where WiFi is out of range, like the backyard, detached garage, or parking areas.(Click here to learn more about the cellular 4G security cameras that can work without Internet.)

5. Toilet Excuse

Many new homeowners might fall for the tricks used by strangers conjuring up an excuse to use the toilet of yours but meanwhile walk away with some valuables of yours.

Or some morning joggers will approach your house for a cup of water or use of the restroom, which could also be an excuse to get a sweep on your property.

If you are concerned with impending dangers or unwanted disturbance, politely reject them and offer alternatives but be sure not to open your door wide open to offer any glimpse of house interior easily.

Words of advice for homeowners are always like directing them to the nearby public toilet or concocting excuse that your water system is malfunctioning or your restroom is temporally occupied.

6. Strangers Request for Help with Different Excuses

Some thieves or burglars will knock at the front door asking for help, say, a glass of water, use of your bathroom, looking for a missing dog, need direction or confirmation of certain things like an ad on Craigslist.

They normally would knock at the door at the time when people are not expected to be home, they will knock at doors around mid-morning and mid-afternoon when most of the housewives are out running errands or out picking up kids in the afternoon.

7. Strange Markings around the House

A recent revelation by police in Scotland about alleged marks used by a burglar is shockingly unsettling but might require extra attention if you happen to stumble on these strangely looking signs.

A ring of professional burglars marks potential targets while canvassing your neighborhood by using seeming random signs, in which they tell their members whether or not the houses are easy targets.

8. Strangers Take Pictures & Walk Away

With the ubiquity of cameras on Smartphone, people can snapshot anywhere anytime, which can give rise to a new type of concerns: canvassing neighborhood with only one click.

If you happen to run into someone, be them as jogger, walkers, paperboy or handymen, taking pictures outside your house or neighbor's house intentionally, or weaving back and forth from one side to the other taking several pictures of each house, please stay vigilant.

Notify your homeowner association, local police or neighborhood if there are any suspicious activities or keeping a record of any aberrant behaviors.
Signs of Someone is Casing Your House

9. A Simple Glance & Gut Feeling

A glance at strangers, mysteriously and magically, makes you feel something is off instantly, which could be the trigger for warning or sign for further precautions.

Someone who is fidgety, horsing around in unknown streets and interact with people with minimal eye contact and literally bouncy, are possible would-be burglars, especially during rainy nights or stormy nights.

Of course, there are many other signs you can pick up to determine whether your house is being watched or cased.

10. Other Possible Signs

There are many other possible signs that your house is marked or cased and homeowners should be extra cautious, for example, some homeowners found that their welcome mat outside the side door was flipped upside down or a golf ball was left on the front lawn.

Besides, some homeowners point out some strangers pretending to be a handyman or someone who has done repairing work or remodeling job on your new house and they will come back checking out your house.

Home Burglary Statistics

According to the FBI, a home burglary occurs every 13 seconds in the U.S. There are common points of entry that are more venerable to burglary, theft, and break-in.

  • 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
  • 23% of burglars gain entrance through a first-floor window.
  • 22% of burglars break into a home through a back door.
  • 9% of burglars enter a home through the garage.
  • 4% of burglars get into a home through an unlocked entrance.
  • 2% of burglars enter somewhere on the second floor.

Ways of Burglar Enters Home

See more on home burglary facts and statistics

How to Prevent Homes Being Targeted & Burglarized

Thanks to a survey on how burglars broken into home conducted by KGW's investigative team on 86 inmates currently serving time for burglary in the Oregon Department of Corrections, we get a better idea how and when burglars break into your house, what they are looking for and what homeowners can do to avoid houses being cased or burglarized.

Here are the breakdowns:

  • Buy security cameras for entries and make them visible
  • Make the house, front and backyard visible with good lighting
  • Trim your bushes and trees regularly
  • Put bars on your windows and door
  • Have TV or radio on when leaving home
  • Know neighbors and alerts police if anything suspicious

You might be surprised by the revelation of convicted criminals about how they approach the house and strike while it also serves a great reminder of how homeowners can do to avoid being targeted.

What to Do When Your House is Being Cased

Interesting and surprisingly, many break-ins and home invasion can be avoided and financial loss could be substantially reduced if homeowners have some security systems in place, report suspicious people around the neighborhood, and alert local police.

Suggestions

  • Keep a record or note of suspicious activities such as times of the events, makes of possible vehicle, the appearance of the people in question;
  • Notify neighbors about suspicious activities;
  • Inform local police if necessary and requires extra patrolling on the areas;
  • Shore up home security by installing home security cameras/security systems;
  • Reinforce doors/windows or other possible entrances

If you have a security system in place, make sure to scan through recorded footages security cameras regularly and pay extra attention to the abnormality inside and outside the house.

Therefore, it's important to have extra pairs of eyes on the lookout for you whether you are at home or away for holiday. And it's essential to take some measures to eschew becoming easy targets for burglars.

Conclusion

If your home had been burgled, the trauma and unease in its aftermath, however, is a bell that can't be un-rung, and many burglary victims find it hard to feel safe in their own homes.

For those who have been on an incredible lucky streak and have never been burglarized over the years, it's essential to keep your eyes peeled and keep your ears on the ground in case any unfortunate might occur.

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  • inabubble

    I recently found, what looks like, half of a shoe print on the lower part of my front door. I've been here 6 years and have never had this happen before. About 2 weeks before the scuff mark I let someone who I thought lived in our complex in for a short visit and at that time I learned he was only visiting someone (alot) who lives here. I felt a little sick to my stomach and when he left I took measures to try and make my apartment as secure as I could. I saw a show on 'marked’ doors which came to mind when I saw the Scuff mark. I wiped the mark off. Just wondering if this is the type of mark left by robbers. I would report it to the manager...but this is a senior living complex and they treat us like were are all....senile. What do you think?

    • It's always better to take some measure than sorry. Security cameras around the apartment complex or your front door are very helpful to get some evidence of any criminal activities. If you are interested, it's advised to check out some amazing security cameras like C1 Pro /product/c1-pro/. Hopefully, this helps 🙂

  • Faz

    Help what do u do if u find a plastic bag filled with leaves tied to your tree

  • Olivia

    Hi Nihar, thanks. It's possible that the guy you mentioned was trying to case your house.

    It's always a good idea to be extra cautious and take necessary measures like front door security camera with motion sensing Reolink Argus 2 /product/argus-2/, for instance.

  • Sheena King

    This happened to me! I've been trying to find an article to show my mom. She's in town visiting, while I was at work she said someone had knocked on the door, stated that Someone called saying my ac wasn't working and he had to take a look at the thermostat. I told her you don't let people in like that. My landlord would of contacted me if he was sending someone out and that my ac works just fine. I live in a condominium so I went to the office to check and see if they had repair men out. The office said no, if they did they only go to the roof they never ask to go inside a residence. Now I'm worried someone may try to come back. I'm pregnant and have a small child, not feeling very secure now.

  • That one questioneer

    Would someone says they are apart of the mortgage company and seeing if the house is occupied
    Is that a sign??

  • That one questioneer

    If a guy says he is apart of the mortgage company and seeing if the house is occupied is that a sign??

    • Olivia

      Hi, there, yes, that could be also a sign that the guy was casing your house. And it is suggested that you adopt the tips in the post to protect your home.

  • Question

    I heard something at the door, not a doorbell ring or a knock. When I peeked my head from where I was sitting, I saw a guy with a box who shortly left. Was he trying to look inside the house? There have been four reported cases of robberies this past week in my neighborhood. Is this suspicious?

    • Olivia

      Hi, there, this could be a dangerous sign that your house is being cased. Do you have security cameras installed in your home? It is highly recommended that you place a security camera with siren at your front door, like Reolink Argus 2, /product/argus-2/. When someone suspicious enters the monitoring zone, the camera can send audio alarms to scare the unwanted away and you'll also receive instant push notifications and email alerts. Hope this would help.

  • Rileyx (Rileyx)

    Someone has left rocks in my car, like a small area where my car has an opening.
    Any sign?

    • Olivia

      Hi, there, chances are good that someone was trying to vandalize or break into your car. For more useful tips about how to secure your car from vandalism and thefts, you may refer to this insightful guide here, /how-to-catch-someone-key-break-into-vandalize-steal-car/. Hope this helps.

  • Behold, a Pale Horse ᶰʳᵃ

    My neighbor said that he saw a guy peeping underneath my garage door at 4:00 AM with a flashlight. I HAD a small gap underneath my garage door because the door stop had to be adjusted. I thought nothing of it because I live in a nice neighborhood at the end of a secured dead end street.

    But if you have a gap in your garage door large enough for a hydraulic floorjack to fit underneath, a burglar could potentially get in your home.

    Needless to say, we all get complacent and preoccupied in our daily routines, and we forget that there are people out there who are watching us like predators just waiting for a weakness.

    • Olivia

      Hi there, yes, even you live in a nice neighborhood with low crime rate, there are also opportunist burglars waiting for a weakness. You may adopt the tips mentioned above to protect your house from being cased. Hope these would help.

  • Darko714

    A young guy in an orange vest carrying an ipad and handing out Anderson Windows brochures sees me coming out of the house and starts on what sounds like a pitch to sell me some new windows. Of course he'd like to walk around the the back of the house and have a look and maybe give me an estimate. Um . . . no.

    • Olivia

      Hi there, it is best to keep a watchful eye on the front door, backyard and other entrances of your house. Also make sure that every door and window is locked up when you leave.

  • Olivia

    Hi there, to protect your property and family members, it is best to reinforce all the entrances to your home, like the front door, first-floor windows and the garage. You may also notify neighbors about this suspicious guy as well.

  • Alexa Gaboy

    My auntie heard a doorbell in the middle of the night and it gave her chills out of nowhere still she went to go and found out that somebody rang the doorbell of the house across us at the same time they went to look for the person who did that our street was long and quiet its impossible to run without being seen and its also impossible to ride a vehicle it can be seen and heard they also chevked behid the trees and cars they didnt see anything
    Do you thi k we are going to be robbed?

    • Olivia

      Hello Alexa, it is hard to say but you may take some actions to avoid potential break-ins. For example, you may set up security cameras at the front door so as to catch the suspect in the act. Hope this helps.

  • Jess

    3 men tried to get into the house and took the lock out the front door but didn't get into the house but they got into the car bit there was nothing to take. Before they left they wedged 2 twigs into the door. I can't stop wondering why?

  • Olivia

    Hi, there, it is best to notify neighbors about the potential break-ins, call the police and demand for more frequent patrols in your neighborhood. Besides, you may set up an outdoor security camera to catch burglars in the act and reinforce all the entrances to your home, like the front door, first-floor windows and the garage. Hope this helps.

  • Apollon

    What happens if you already got roobed? Last Saturday at 4 am my house was opened by 2 young persons. Thankfully the alarm went on and we woke up. In mater of seconds they took the bag with only 20 euros. Camera of a nearby shop captured them running away from the neighborhood. the bag was found not far from the house damped. Our house is the only on the neighborhood that doesn't have a dog.

    • Olivia

      Hi, Apollon, have you contacted the police and demanded more frequent patrols in your neighborhood? To avoid further break-ins, it's best to set up an outdoor security camera to protect your home and family members, reinforce the front door, first-floor windows and the other entrances to your home and put away your bags and valuable things before going to bed. Hope this helps.

  • Olivia

    Hello, Miguel, that can be a possible sign of a potential break-in. So, it is best to reinforce all the entrance to your house, like the front door, first-door windows and so on. You may also ask your neighbors whether they have encountered suspicious events as well. Hope this helps.

  • jackie peel

    I'm really scared. Yesterday I woke up in the middle of the night at one in the morning, because I heard a car stop near my house. I looked out the window, and saw a truck was sitting near my driveway, and I watched it for 2 mins. I finally decided to turn on the light in my room to see what would happen, and as soon as I did, the truck sped off. I've been feeling off lately about it. Is this a sign of someone thinking about breaking in? It must be, because who would stop near someone's house and watch it? I know they were watching because they saw the light turn on. I'm so scared.

    • Olivia

      Hello, Jackie, it can be a sign that someone is thinking to break in your house. To protect your property, it is best to reinforce all the entrance to your house, like the front door, back door, and first-floor window and set up security cameras facing those entrances. Also, you may communicate with your neighbors and ask if they have encountered suspicious events recently. If yes, report to the local police. Hope this helps.

  • John

    So my dad said he found a screwdriver on top of our car before washing it. The screwdriver we're the ones of like robbing a car. Are we in danger or anything we can do. We have no security so i'm telling him to buy some cameras.

    • Olivia

      Hello John, to protect your car from robbery, it is best to leave no valuables in your car and park your car in a garage or well-lit area. Also, you can set up several qualified security cameras pointed at your driveway and car. So, you will receive instant alerts and catch the burglars in the act. Click here, /car-theft-prevention/, to learn more useful car theft prevention tips. Hope this helps.

  • Olivia

    Hi Kim, it is possible that someone is taking your house as their next target. So, it is best to keep a watchful eye on your house and take pictures with your phone or security cameras as evidence. If such suspicious cars come frequently, contact local neighborhood watch or police as well. Hope your family and property be safe.

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