Have you ever found yourself searching for a valuable item – a piece of jewelry or electronic equipment perhaps – only to find it never turns up? You might have misplaced it you've thought, but then again, after considering all the possibilities, there's also a chance that someone's intruding while you're away.

Savvy burglars broke into your house, leaving virtually unnoticeable clues. You failed to notice it until it was too late. Here are some of the subtle signs that your house has been intruded or targeted.

how to Tell If Your House was Broken into

8 Signs to Help You Tell If Your House Has Been Broken into

Things seem to change while you're not home, but you can't put your finger on exactly what they are. Refer to some of the clues you should look out for if you want to discover the plain truth for yourself.

Sign 1: Your Personal Belongings Are in Disarray

How to know if someone broke into your house? The most obvious sign is that your house is in disorder the moment you come home.

Most burglars who rob your home are for cash, jewelry and other valuable things. (See how to secure cash, jewelry, laptop and electronics from home theft for practical security tips.) Check your valuable items and if you find they are gone, then you can confirm you just suffered a robbery or home theft.

If you're convinced that someone's been tampering with your personal belongings, consider jealous exes as well family members who could have designs on your items. Who else would have an interest in searching through your private documents? This could include anything from paperwork to photographs. The motives are usually quite easy to ascertain. Basically, if something more personal is at stake, there will be a marked lack of interest in expensive items.

Sign 2: Evidence from Surveillance Footage and Fingerprints

The best way to know if your house has been broken into is to check the video surveillance footage, if you have installed a security camera, including the easy-to-use wireless CCTV camera and PoE IP cameras. It is also the most accurate evidence for intrusion trusted by detectives and legal authorities.
This comes in the form of footage or fingerprint evidence that's been collected from the scene. If you have no doubt that someone has entered your home against your wishes, security cameras will help you to positively identify the intruder. Security cameras capturing home invasions can quickly let you find out who robbed your house.

So while it's tempting to jump to conclusions that items have been stolen, rather than gone missing, or to assume that your home has been tampered with while you were away, anxiety is much more easily avoided with video evidence. The video footage also helps you figure out where the security weaknesses are and take home security measures to prevent future home invasions.

Security cameras used indoors to identify home burglars should better to be wide angle security cameras, or PTZ security cameras, for example, Reolink RLC-423. They should be installed to cover weak entries, such as doors and windows.

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How to Know If Someone Broke into Your House

Sign 3: Your Locks Have Been Tampered with

Sometimes your apartment has been intruded, but the thief didn't leave any obvious evidence. To tell if someone breaks into your house, you should be wary of any details, such as any new scratches on the metal surrounding your key holes.

Fresh nicks around the keyholes of your locks are a sign that a fairly new technique called "key bumping" used of late to gain entry to your home. Since 2005, bumping has become somewhat common practice because it requires little expertise. The implement used resembles a tiny saw, so that hasty work by amateurs will leave tiny marks identifiable to the untrained eye. Sometimes the work is carried out so well that it's impossible to identify any evidence. Picking, on the other hand, requires a flat implement like a screwdriver, and much more skill and precision. The marks left behind are less noticeable.

Sign 4: Signs of A Forced Break-in

Despite the name given to such a break-in, the evidence can sometimes be subtle, especially when your house got broken into with nothing being stolen. Is it possible to bend a gate or steel railing back enough to gain entry to your property? Do a round-check of the perimeter.

If you suspect that a barrier to entry has been forced open in any way, there's a chance that someone's making regular entries into your home through that route. Sometimes burgers will case out your windows from outside (See how you can secure your windows), or even enter your home before they make away with the grand payload.

Sign 5: New Marks on Your Tiles or Carpet

How do you know if somebody broke into your house without a surveillance camera? Apart from keeping an eye open for footprints in the snow-drift or garden beds outside your home, it's easier to see whether your carpets or tiles have new flecks of mud on them.

Are there any unfamiliar shoe prints on your tiles or carpets? If they don't belong to any of the shoes in your wardrobe, then chances are strong that they come from an unwelcome guest. Master bedrooms are the prize destinations of thieves wanting to capitalize on smaller, less noticeable items. So, be wary of smaller details like unfamiliar hair to prove an unexpected home intrusion.

Sign 6: Visitors Who Knock on Everyone's Doors

Another smart idea to help you figure out if your home has been intruded is to ask your neighbors about any suspect visitors. One of the simplest ways a burglar can gain entry to your homes is by checking if the door is unlocked. The general method is to see if anyone's at home first. If you answer, they may pretend to be searching for gutter-cleaning or gardening job or ask for directions in a suspicious way. If there's been a spate of such cases in your neighborhood lately, there's a possibility that someone unsavory character has been casing your home.

Sign 7: Someone You Invited in Has Opened Another Entry Point

Someone you were keen to allow access to your toilet to may have unlatched a door or window you don't habitually leave unlocked, then come in through the back while you were away. Think along the lines of open windows that you never ordinarily use, and consider anyone to whom you gave access, including workmen, furniture removal people and gardeners.

Sign 8: Trivial Changes in the Booby Trap You Set

In some cases, not only do you want to make sure if there are burglars break into your house, you also want to know someone you know has been in your house without your permission. Thing can be like "I gave keys to my neighbors, or I have a friend that has a key to my apartment". Can you set something up that would indicate someone opened your door when you were not there?

Obviously, placing a hidden webcam is the best idea. Or to be more creative, you can put something, such as, a piece of paper, behind the door in a marked place, then when it moves you'll know someone has been in. Or when you next leave the apartment, connect a piece of string between the door and door frame. Then when the next person opens the door, it should snap.

You can't be more observant to notice these subtle signs that your house has been broken into. To know your house has been cased is never the ending. "Someone tries to break into my house, will they try again?" Yup, it's likely to happen. When you find out that someone is trying casing your house, or has broken into your apartment, call the local police and insurance company immediately. And most importantly, install surveillance systems and take measures to make your home safer from break-ins.

  • George Felder

    My two cats were acting very strange and defensive when we came home. This could be another clue.

    • Amanda

      Hi George, thanks for sharing. Pets could be really helpful in this way☺.

  • Amertashu

    I woke up this morning and one of my bottom windows was wide open! (I would never leave them open because my cats are indoor) I found out that one of my cats had been outside and is soaking wet with rain! Nothing appears to be missing but I'm not sure weather I should be worrying!?

    • Amanda

      Hi Amertashu, I'm so sorry to hear that! You may get a security camera to record the window areas and then you will know if there is anything happens during the night. : )

  • James McGill

    Holy fuck, signs 1-5...you a genius, girl? Never woulda thought my shit bein’ all fucked with would indicate home intrusion. My god: physical evidence, DNA shit, broken locks, and video footage? This is what proves my shit got robbed from me. Why the fuck we need the police when we got Amanda Li! Nobel peace prize coming your way.

  • Lauren

    I'm not sure if this is anything to be worried about but I've been hearing weird noises for years at first I chalked it up to anxiety but now that I think about it there's a strong possibility that someone wants to get into my house I first heard a knock on the door after my neighbor got broken into then a few days after that I heard what sounded like someone hitting the side of the house right outsid my room then I started hearing a tapping sound then a year after I heard the knock at the door it sounded like someone was messing with the door handle like they were full on shaking it almost like they were trying to break into my house then this is where it gets really creepy I thought I saw a guy dressed in all black through the blinds and I heard a guy's voice whisper hey hey I was awoken from my slumber when that happened since I had turned in early that night and then about two years after the first sound happened my friend Jason thought he heard a knock at the door so I went running to the door to see if anyone I knew was there then last night I was on the phone with my friend Kendra and we both heard a tap on the window after I thought I had seen someone in my driveway I'm beginning to wonder if all this is neighborhood kids pranking me and my family or is there something much more sinister going on here

    • Amanda

      That's terrifying. It could be useful to set up some cameras to confirm your suspicion, and by this way, you will know what has happened.

  • Amanda

    Hi Cherish, that's an obvious sign of home intrusion. You'd better change a stronger lock ASAP. And if you want to catch the intruder or learn what has happened exactly, consider putting up a security camera. Hope you can get rid of the issue soon.

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