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Burglary 101: Everything you need to know

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is “defined as unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of a residence.” 

The BJS also has a definition of four different types of burglary:

  1. A completed burglary is one where the perpetrator has successfully entered, with or without force,  a structure where he/she has no legal right.

  2. Forcible entry is one where the perpetrator has forcefully entered another’s property.

  3. Unlawful entry without force is when someone has forcefully entered someone’s structure that they have no legal right to enter.

  4. Attempted forcible entry is when a perpetrator forcibly and illegally tries to enter a residence or place of business. 


The FBI, with the help of over 20,000 law enforcement agencies, completes a study each year to determine the increases and decreases in criminal activity.  While the 2018 report isn’t finalized, we can look at the key points of the 2017 report:

  • In 2017, 1.4 million burglaries were reported which was down by nearly 8% from the previous year.  

  • An estimated 58% were forcible entry.

  • Victims reported almost $3.5 billion in property losses.

  • Victims on average suffered an average of $2,400 in monetary losses.

  • Residential properties accounted for nearly 67% of all burglaries.

  • A burglary occurs approximately every 13 seconds.

  • 65% of home invasions happen between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

  • Burglaries happen during the day to minimize people being home.

  • Only 13% of burglary cases are solved.

  • The most common ways for forcibly entering the home is through an unlocked window, by breaking a window or kicking in a door, or picking a lock.  


The average burglary lasts 8-10 minutes, so in the average time it takes a person to get their favorite cup of coffee, one’s home can be forcibly entered, and thousands of dollars of valuables taken.  The worst part of a home invasion are the feelings of violation and the lack of safety one feels in their home. 

Homes that do not have a security system are reportedly 300% more likely to be burglarized, and only approximately 15% of homes in the United States currently have security systems, leaving the majority of homeowners open to victimization. You can add additional security with Door Armor, keeping a burglar from kicking in your door, security system or not. When questioned, many perpetrators admit that they are deterred by alarms. (Check out this interview with a prolific burglar)  

Your home needs to be the safe oasis that each of us desires and needs.  Understanding the facts about burglary can help you to make important decisions that will allow you to sleep easy at night and give you peace of mind when you have to be away.