Home Burglaries in the US: Facts and Stats


You may think that your house is your safe haven. In most cases, this is true, but the sad truth is, our homes aren’t inviolable bubbles of calm and safety. Home burglaries continue to be rampant in the US. In fact, it was the third most common type of crime in 2018.

Below, we’ll help you get a better understanding of burglary by providing recent burglary facts and statistics, and enumerate ways on how you can improve security in your home.

Burglary cases in the US

According to this Long Island criminal attorney, burglary is entering a house or a building with the intent to commit a crime. Data from Statista showed that there were a total of 1.23 million burglary cases in the country in 2018. Burglary was present in all 50 states, and it was the third most common type of crime in 2018.

New Mexico topped the list of the highest burglary rate per 100,000 inhabitants, with 768 per 100,000. Mississippi followed with 698, Oklahoma with 681, Louisiana with 668, Arkansas with 637, and North Carolina with 600. New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine, and Pennsylvania had the lowest numbers.

Common burglary targets

The LA Intelligence published a useful infographic on the most common burglary targets on their website. Use this information to reduce the chances of burglaries in your home.

According to them, the most common burglary targets are:

  • Homes that don’t have home security or alarm system
  • Homes with unlocked doors, windows, and garage
  • Homes with family members on vacation
  • Homes with spake keys outside the house

Meanwhile, here are the top target items:

  • Cash
  • Firearms
  • Jewelry
  • Tools
  • Computers, smartphones, and tablets
  • Household goods
  • Electronics
  • Liquor
  • Prescription drugs
  • Your identity

Also, a separate study has shown that detached single-family houses are the most likely targets of burglars. This is because there are generally more entry points and more places for the burglar to hide around the premises. Also, homes located in the center of a block are more likely to be broken into than houses on corners. This may be due to the extra visibility of corner houses and the more likelihood of vehicle traffic on cross streets.

Finally, it was found that students are most likely to be burglary victims, perhaps because of the possession of the latest electronics. Elderly people were the next most likely victims, possibly because of the possession of expensive prescription medicines. Middle-aged people are the least likely burglary targets.

Importance of home security systems

Burglar breaking into a house window with a crowbar

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), almost 90% of home burglaries can be prevented by putting security systems in place. A security system will make your house less attractive to criminals.

Here are some tips when purchasing a home security system:

  • Consider buying a security system that will yell out the exact location of the break-in, in addition to sounding a siren (eg. “INTRUSION DETECTED: REAR DOOR”).
  • Consider a security system with motion detectors, in addition to door and window alarm sensors.
  • Consider installing multiple alarms and cameras around your home. Today, many of these are inexpensive and their cost can be included in your monthly alarm monitoring fee.

These are just some of the facts involving burglaries in the US to help you better understand how homes are robbed and what you can do to best protect yours.

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