What are the Different Types of Burglars?

How to protect your home your home and family.


November 30, 2020

10-28-blogs 58

You may think a burglar is just a burglar — someone who breaks into people’s homes or businesses and steals goods or valuables that do not belong to them. However, different types of burglars operate in different ways.

While there is no science involved in categorizing them, understanding how they operate can help you better protect yourself from home intruders.

The Opportunist

The opportunist is a burglar who does not plan ahead. Their crimes are spontaneous.

This thief will look for quick and easy prospects. They might be strolling along and come across an empty home with an open window. and take advantage of being in the right place at the right time

Opportunists are often unpredictable and will steal whatever goods they can find in a specific area of opportunity. They do not seek specialty items or know what they’ll be getting before acting, which is why they often do not steal high-value items. When police catch an opportunist burglar, they may charge them with second-degree burglary because the crime was not premeditated.

The Scout

Scout burglars are one step above an opportunist as they premeditate targets instead of waiting for the opportunity to arise. They are not afraid to smash a window or kick down a door to access a home or apartment. They will take whatever they can get their hands on that is easily concealable in pockets or a backpack. These thieves are messy and unorganized, often driven to steal due to a drug habit.

The Prowler

Prowlers are more organized than scouts. Prowlers plan their burglaries thoroughly before committing one. They have connections to channel their stolen goods through and often study their victims thoroughly before attacking a home. They will memorize a family’s habits, like watching when you come and go.

The Professional

This type of burglar is probably the most seasoned and successful. After years of burglarizing homes and businesses, professionals will decide to target specific high-value items. They know what they want, and they know how to respond to a burglary deterrent. They also understand the response time of the police in a given situation.

Professional burglars do extensive research on security systems and security techniques. They do not associate with opportunist thieves and prowlers. Instead, professional burglars often operate as a group and can make a career out of it. Sometimes they manage to have someone on “the inside” to scope out potential targets.

Professional burglars will more often focus on businesses and warehouses instead of small homes and apartments.

Protecting Your Home

Understanding the different types of burglars can help you keep an eye out for ways to prevent a home intrusion. One of the best ways to prevent a burglary, regardless of the type of burglar, is the installation of a home security system.

A monitored home security system will notify the police immediately when there is a security breach. Having a monitored system can save you precious time. If you were to leave a door unlocked while your system is armed, the alarm would sound as soon as a burglar, or anyone, enters the premises. Glass break sensors and motion detectors can also ward off burglars.

Contact Brinks Home™ to customize a home security system that is right for your home and family.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.

Phrogging Your Home Desktop

How to Know If Someone is Phrogging My Home

Read more
Steals Package desktop

What to Do If Someone Steals Your Package

Read more
Do Dogs Deter Home Invasions Desktop

Do Dogs Deter Home Invasions?

Read more
Share via:

We are not able to service your area yet.

Thank you...

Your request has been submitted.

One of our expert security consultants will be in touch. Together, we'll design a smart home security system to fit your lifestyle.


Interested in a Home Security System?

Complete this form and a Brinks Home™ Security Consultant will reach out regarding building your security system.

...or Call 888.627.3631

By clicking the ‘Submit’ above below, I agree that a Brinks Home specialist may contact me via text messages or phone calls to the phone number provided by me using automated technology about Brinks Home offers. This consent is not required to make a purchase. Your information is collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy. Clicking the button below constitutes your electronic signature.