A burglary is committed somewhere in the United States every twelve seconds. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the number of burglaries in Orange County is on the rise.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines burglary as “the act of breaking and entering a dwelling at night to commit a felony (as theft).” The U.S. Bureau of Justice defines burglary as “unlawful entry or attempted entry of a residence” and then ominously adds, “This crime usually, but not always, involves theft.”
California law defines burglary as “unlawfully or lawfully entering a building with the specific intent to steal something or commit a felony” and identifies two degrees of this crime: first degree burglary occurs when the building is occupied (for example, a home where the family is present); second degree burglary occurs when the building entered is unoccupied.
Regardless of definition or degree, burglary is traumatic for its victims and something they would have preferred to avoid.
Just ask former OCAR Director Terry Yapp. Recently, his home was burglarized by professional thieves. As a result, he and his family suffered personal pain, lost valuable possessions, and have had to spend countless hours dealing with the aftermath.
Based on this personal experience, Yapp has compiled a list of steps you can take to protect your home against burglaries and invasions. The goal is to make your home safe for its occupants and to make unauthorized entry not worth the effort for would-be thieves.
In defining burglary, the Bureau of Justice notes, “The illegal entry may be by force, such as breaking a window or slashing a screen, or may be without force by entering through an unlocked door or an open window.”
Yapp reminds you to use only solid-core exterior doors, to install deadbolt and high-security locks, to discuss the importance of home security with everyone in your household, and to make certain all doors and windows are securely locked, even when you are at home.
To discover additional strategies you can implement to protect your home from this crime and to prevent your family from becoming its victims, read Terry Yapp’s compelling article titled “How to Protect Your Home from Burglary” on pages 36–37 in the December issue of the Orange County REALTOR®.
By Sherri Butterfield