Are There Burglars At My House?


On our way out of town yesterday morning we prepared the house to leave it behind for a while.  Nothing unusual, just setting light timers to go off, emptying out the refrigerator, making sure all the windows were locked.

I stopped the mail and the newspapers.  However the newspaper guy never seems to stop throwing the paper until a couple days have piled up in the driveway and he realizes there has been a vacation stop.  What’s up with that? 

The pool was super-chlorinated so it won’t grow algae while we’re away and the gardening taken care of the day before.

I did not leave a porch light on 24/7, a sure sign of not being home, even though I did last vacation by mistake.

So I sit down in the hotel room last night with the Sunday paper I brought to read and had so been craving.  I get to the Travel section and there’s a big article on how July and August are the big months for burglars scouting the homes of vacationers for robbery.

The number one thing these burglars look for?

CLOSED UP BLINDS!

Ugh.

Of course I closed my blinds.  Don’t you?  Why would I leave them open?

The article suggests having your neighbors coming over every day to open and close them.  Oh yeah right, just how to really get on your extremely busy neighbor’s nerves. 

So I sit here in my hotel room wondering if burglars are in my house with the blinds closed. 

I guess no one would know because you can’t see in.

Does anyone really leave their blinds open?

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71 Comments

  1. Actually, yes, I do leave my blinds & curtains open. That way, if someone is using a flashlight in the house, the neighbours can see. Of course…burglars would probably CLOSE the blinds and the neighbours wouln’t even notice!!

  2. Philly 2

    Sorry, I don’t have this problem we have an alarm system. However I’m sure if they wanted to get in set the alarm off, there are a few minutes of time they could steal until the police get here. There is always another car in our driveway too, I think that would deter anyone from robbing you.

    #1

  3. We don’t have any blinds. I detest blinds. They are such a pain in the butt to clean. We only have one curtain in the whole house. It’s on the sliding glass door leading out from our master bathroom. If someone sat on the road at just the right spot, they might be able to see in that door if there were no curtain. And we have horse riding neighbors who we allow to ride on our property. I’d hate to look up from the toilet and see someone riding past my window. Some day our little secret garden enclosure will be done and the curtain will come down. I don’t like curtains either.

    For about a week we had someone calling the house from an unknown number every day. (We have caller ID and all it said was “unknown number”.) Every time we’d answer there was no one on the line. It made me nervous that someone was checking up to see when no one would be home. There were rashes of robberies done that way when we lived in Wichita. The guy cattycornered behind us was robbed that way.

    You know what? There are a plenty of things that could happen. Pray:o) You’re probably insured anyway, right? Enjoy your vacation.

  4. Don’t worry NP. Enjoy your vacation. Everything will be fine. Listen to mama…

  5. I think we’d shut them instinctively, considering we have a large picture window that takes up most of the living room and I don’t think I’d want ANYONE seeing in at all hours of the day, let alone strangers checking out my goods.

  6. In Canada, people leave their doors unlock and oftentimes open.

    Here in US, we can’t do that. I have two friends’s house were broken in because some burglars probably came to observe or scout the area several times before the break in. One case, burglars worked in team. They showed up as if they came to work on the house, pulled truck in, and wiped out my friend’s furnitures, electronics and valuable belonging.

    A friend of mine insured his stuffs so he got compensated. But other? it was a total loss.

    Installing alarm system like ADT is best protection. If you watch the show “It takes thief” on Discovery. You will see how easily they do and how they do it.

  7. Dawn 7

    I would never leave the blinds open…I would worry about peeps peering in and seeing my stuff and wanting to steal it.

    If my blinds are closed, maybe the bad guys will think I don’t have any good stuff and skip to the next house. ;o)

  8. Actually, I have my blinds closed most of the time to beat the heat!

    Forget the burglar. I have to stay cool.
    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama
    link to xanga.com

  9. We only have blinds on two bathroom windows. Otherwise, I hate them! We don’t even use curtains that much – helps that one side of our house opens to a field and 2nd to the river. Very quiet:)

  10. Anna 10

    I never even open the blinds when I’m at home, so I guess a potential thief wouldn’t see anything different. It’s too hot here to let in any extra sun!

  11. HoneyB 11

    Well, considering I live in podunk I do keep my blinds close almost all the time! People will know when we aren’t home though because we don’t have a garage we put our car in. Fortunately, my son moved back home and when we are gone, he’s usually home!

  12. patsyk 12

    We keep our blinds closed every day to keep the heat out of the house… so, I guess it would look like we are on vacation all the time! We do set our alarm every day and when we are away so hopefully, that would deter any unwanted visitors! Enjoy your vacation and try not to worry too much!

  13. Lori 13

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Try to enjoy your time away. :)

  14. Err…yeah…I leave the blinds open and at least 1 light on. I’ll be okay though. I feel it? What’s your address again :)

  15. No worries.
    We keep our blinds open almost all of the time when we ARE home. We should open/close them to save energy, but it never really works out that way.

    Oh, yes — and we frequently leave our outside porch light on.

    I’m thinking that chances are good no one notices!

  16. I agree with Mental Moma & Lora, don’t even think about it. Nothing you can do anyway. It is highly unlikely that anything will happen. And you can figure out what to do next time once your vacation is over.

    Have a blast!!

  17. Our blinds are closed during the day to keep out the heat, and open at night with the windows opened, when home..
    On vacation.. Every blind is shut..

  18. I keep my blinds shut whether I’m home or not. But that’s because I live in a ground level apartment and have very nosy neighbors.

  19. I don’t have blinds–but if I did I would certainly close them. And I agree, I could never ask a neighbor to come over and open and close them! We do leave our outside lights on though–oops!! Have a great vacation and don’t worry!!

  20. Jules 20

    I tend to keep mine closed, simply because I am rushing out in the morning and forget to open them. They are only opened if my mother comes by and realizes it and opens them.

    Have a wonderful vacation!

  21. If they are going to rob you they will. They robbed the church in Crystal and they kicked in a door to do it.
    They robbed a friend’s house while he was the movies. I don’t know if his blinds were up or down.
    We put in an alarm ast the church. The next timed they kicked in the door they didn’t take anything because the alarm scared them off.

  22. I’m with you! I’d leave the blinds closed as well! I’ll have to remember this for the next time we go away!

  23. I open my front blinds every morning to let the sunlight in (except for on extremely hot days)and close them every night when the sun goes down. I leave them closed when we travel, although I night rethink that now. We have plantation shutters, I think I will open them half way next time we travel.

  24. Trisha 24

    We have blinds in the front of our house which are always sort of open. I never think about closing them. We also have blinds in our bedroom which are almost always closed in the summer to help with the heat. Other than that our windows are bare with film on them to keep out heat.

    Don’t worry though! It would ruin your vacation! Ejoy!

  25. Lennie 25

    In Canada, people leave their doors unlocked? Really? Where? I live in Toronto, a city of millions of people, and I sure as heck don’t leave my doors unlocked! :-)

  26. Lennie 26

    My hubby is a 30+ year veteran police officer; I am a former police dispatcher and 911 operator. We know the seamier side of life. So here’s the scoop. Don’t worry about your blinds, up or down. Want to know what you should have? The #1 deterrent against having your house robbed is to have a dog. I’m not being funny here, it’s true. Nobody wants to mess with an unknown dog, who could be vicious. Doesn’t matter if the dog is sweet as pie, it’s still a major deterrent. Dogs are unpredictable. If professionals want to break into your house, they will have done their homework, know you don’t have a dog and know when you’re not home, know when to do it, and be in and out swiftly. Even with an alarm system. Non-professionals, such as those who are looking for stuff to steal to sell to buy drugs, usually go the old-fashioned way — knocking on the door to see if someone’s home. If nobody answers, they’ll try to break in. That can really happen anywhere, anytime, rural or suburb or city, so you could drive yourself crazy worrying about it, but please don’t.
    If you’re ever really, really worried about being broke into while away, have someone stay at your house, or at least come by often. We have a dog and a cat, so we HAVE to have someone stay here.
    Now, forget all this and ENJOY YOURSELF!!

  27. Don’t worry, they’ll never make it past the cupcakes. They will enjoy them & forget about your stuff.
    Now have fun!
    :)

  28. I keep my blinds closed since our house was broken into. Seeing the big screen tv through the open blinds was what gave them the idea to steal it, according to the police.

  29. Alisa 29

    My blinds are open during the day, closed at night. Closed when we’re away. Even for a few hours. I guess I should ask my elderly neighbor to come on over here and open and close my blinds a few times a day? I would think the fact that my car isn’t there would be the first tip off though? I agree with KitchenKiki, just leave the cupcakes on your front porch, they’ll be way too happy to rob you. The only problem we’ve ever had is a few years ago, we came home and our house had flooded from a small leak let loose all week. That wasn’t too fun, but now I have nice wood floors!

  30. Helen 30

    Oh no! Poor you! Let’s face it, what can you do about it? Just enjoy your holiday (as we say here!) and don’t worry about it. You know, I haven’t been on holiday for so long I can’t even remember if I open or close!

  31. Like my wife tells me “honey it is out of your control, have fun.”

  32. sharon 32

    nearly everyone near me keeps their blinds closed otherwise it’d be 100 degrees inside! We get intense sunlight so I hardly open my blinds. Don’t you worry – have fun!

    PS. I have nice neighbors but I’m not sure who’d be kind enough to come by every night to open/close them for us!

  33. Have some wine. Everything is ok.

    We have the blinds down every day so the furniture doesn’t fade.

  34. We leave most of our blinds open all the time anyway… :)

  35. Teri 35

    We are moving and in between homes… one week here and one week there. I’ve always closed my blinds. Well now I’m paranoid! Wasn’t worried before, but now I am! But we have always closed our blinds at night when we are at home. Especially now, we’ve moved into an Eicher home in the Bay area and they are like living in a fish bowl. At night you can see right in. I would feel so uncomfortable leaving blinds open. If you normally close them, I would think opening them at night would be a sign that you weren’t home.

  36. We leave our main blinds down about 50% of the time because the living room is messy. I dare a burglar to try to steal something in that mess.
    You might not want to blog about being out of town while you’re out of town– someone might break into your house just to steal those cupcakes.

  37. Rayrena 37

    Like others said, it’s out of your control now. Besides, if you have insurance, haven’t you always wanted to upgrade that stereo system in time for summer backyard parties?

  38. hey…don’t worry– I bet the burglars are wondering the same thing on their burglar blogs…should I wear a ski mask? or one of those creepy ronald reagan masks? I’ve heard you can get caught easier wearing a ski mask. hmm…

    can you call the neighbor now and just ask them to take a look over at the house every now and then just to ease your mind?

  39. Carol 39

    My neighbor’s house was broken into while they were on vacation in the middle of the day. The police said that everyone thinks most thefts happen at night but actually in our area they happen during the day when most of us are at work. So there are less “nosy neighbors” around. I have an alarm sytem and a pet sitter in and out of my house when I’m on vacation. She changes the lights in the house–what is on and off–and takes care of the mail and any newspapers that my carrier (who must be related to yours) leaves no matter the vacation stop.

    As to the blind question, my blinds are closed all the time in summer to save energy.

    I think theives are looking for a change in patterns so you should mimic what you’d do normally when you are home the best you can.

    Have a great vacation!

  40. Sandie 40

    Years ago I worked at a bank and that was a rule each evening at closing – open all the blinds. The theory was that if the bank was broken into, activity and or lights/flashlights would be visible to local police and a sign that all was not right. If the blinds were closed at night – same signal – something wasn’t right (as the would-be thieves would have shut them).

  41. I close the blinds whether I am home or not. I have wood shutters and it is amazing how keeping them closed keeps the house soooooooo much cooler. So if your a thief you really cannot tell if we are home or not. :)

    Have a great trip
    Cheers
    Cathy
    http://www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

  42. Lara 42

    Interesting!

    Actually, our blinds are closed most of the time – we live in a rowhome in philly and people walk literally RIGHT BY our living room, and I am not a fan of people being able to see in. So, hey, maybe burglars are at my house, too!

  43. I don’t leave blinds open.
    I look at it this way, they will get in no matter what. As long as they leave the house the way they found it then let them have fun. Last thing I want to do coming home from vacation is clean up after some lowlife robbers.

    peace
    #2

  44. Yup, we do leave them open. Mostly out of laziness.

  45. ALF 45

    We close our blinds. Hopefully your neighbors would notice someone carrying all of the things out of your house and loading them into a strange vehicle.

  46. Ann 46

    Omg – we’re just about to leave town and I’m in, of course – total pre-leaving freak-out mode – and then I had to go and read this. More to freak out about…just kidding. Don’t need any help there. :)

  47. I would, but Hubby won’t let me! He likes them closed all the time – the man loves his privacy!

  48. leslie 48

    Dont worry about it! Enjoy your trip!
    To answer your question…I always leave my blinds open during the day even if I am not home. But at night they are closed! We were robbed 3 years ago…it was aweful..so needless to say EVERYTHING of any value is locked up in a huge(taller than me) safe in our game room! There is no getting in that bad boy!

  49. Tipper 49

    I live to far back in the boonies to need blinds. No one would break into your house-aren’t they all scared of the Wild Boar?

  50. Nope. I never leave the blinds open.

  51. Kristen 51

    Oh gosh – I can just imagine asking my neighbors to come in and open and close the blinds each day. That would go over like a lead balloon!

  52. Medena 52

    OK! Few weeks ago I had a horrific ordeal, thus my absence from my oh-so-beloved blog! I was home alone (husband out of town) with my two little kids, and my brave little Charlie (Havanese /Lhasa cutie).
    1 AM, I was awaken by a strange dream in which a hand is trying to shake me out of my sleep.

    It felt real, and I woke up in such fear I could hear my own heart. I calm down realizing it’s a dream, and then Charlie goes crazy, so I let him out on the balcony, but he just goes even crazier barking down at my basement door (yes, door, my basement, is a walk out). I look down to yell at the “animalâ€￾, because that’s what I thought it was, but instead there is a man holding onto my door!!!!!!!!!!!
    911 call, and 10 minutes later he was caught a block from my house. He had a ridiculous story, and claimed he had no bad intentions!!! Right! I am now suffering from insomnia, and have added another $35 monthly bill to my budget – security system.

    So, unfortunately we are never really safe! I am now in FL, on a vacation, and I don’t feel like going home! : ) I don’t have blinds ( I’m a curtain person), and I left the keys with my neighbor who lives right next door, we share a wall (condo), because God forbid my “oneâ€￾ tomato plant on the balcony dries while I am gone : )))

    I guess security system does make burglars think twice, but it is nice to have someone come to the house while you are gone…

  53. Laura 53

    Oh my gosh that is so something that would happen to me. I always convince myself that the house is come down or be robbed or burn to the ground or something when I am gone.

    And yeah I would have closed my blinds too. BUT I can say in all honesty that my street facing blinds are usually closed anyway–what does that say about me?!?!?!?

  54. I always close mine! Guess I’ll have to rethink that.

  55. I wouldn’t worry. Our blinds are always closed.

    The one thing we did do is get a light timer and one particularly long visit, we plugged the TV into it as well.

    Hope you are having a great vacation!!!

  56. Sassy 56

    I live in a small town, around 500 pop. I don`t have locks on my doors, let alone blinds. We once went on a 3 week vacation and came home to nothing being disturbed. I realize even small towns have crime, but we have just been very lucky or…….no one wants our stuff. :)

  57. Blinds…what are blinds??? My windows are naked!!

    On another note – thank you so much for sharing my hard drive angst, Cathy. It is so very appreciated.
    abb

  58. Flea 58

    I close my blinds. But I also keep my blinds closed much of summer to keep some of the heat out. Burglars – if they really want in, they’re comin’ in. And they can get past my two big dogs to do it.

  59. i’m paranoid. i have an alarm and i keep my blinds closed. i also don’t answer the door when strangers knock. basically, i don’t like people.

  60. I keep the light on in my daughters room like we do every night so there isn’t a change. My blinds are shut quite a lot in summer so no change there either. I would hate to know someone is looking in my windows, vacation or not.
    I hope your vacation is easing any home-related stress. Enjoy :)

  61. Lex the mom 61

    As much as burglars might scope out communities looking for vacationed up homes, I can’t imagine having a neighbor go in every day & open the blinds. Heh. Feed the cat or dog, yes, open & close the blinds, um, okay…

    I don’t have blinds in my living room & the ones in our bedroom are always closed. Those stealin’ criminals would never know…muwahahaha.

  62. grace 62

    thankfully, for the first 24 years of my life, i lived in an area where we didn’t even feel the need to lock our doors. i’ve never had to worry about burglars until this year. as it is, i keep my blinds down most of the time, since i have creepy and nosy neighbors that don’t need to see what’s going on in my apartment. plus, i walk around naked. :)

  63. That’s it, I’m getting on a plane and going to rob your house…

    Wait, I don’t know the address 😉

    Sounds like you’ve got everything else covered, it should be fine.

  64. mitchsmom 64

    Our blinds, especially at the front of my house, are almost always closed anyway – they are in bedrooms & they get the strong Fl sun from the west.

  65. Elle 65

    Yeah, we close our blinds! Leaving them opened sounds weird!

  66. medstudentwife 66

    As a mid-teen to late teen, this was a on the side jobe I had… go intomy neigbours homes and open/close blinds, water plants, randomly to the light thing & even play pianos and create noise, at different times of day.

    It paid pretty good… but there was a lot of trust, by these folks,in me.

  67. Vonda 67

    We have blinds only on our bedrooms and our main living room has heavy duty insulated curtains to beat the heat. But we rarely close them…but I figure if anyone is going to rob us it won’t matter that the blinds are open or closed as we live so far out no one can see the house. Plus I can always hope they would fall in the pool in the dark. Dreamer aren’t I?

  68. Just got back from vacation and we left the upstairs light on so that in the evening it’d be on, but I always dread that.

    Last Christmas on the way home I had this gut feeling that someone had broken into our house. When we arrived home, the door was ajar – someone kicked it in. YIKES!! Then we found out that it was our fire dept – apparently we had an alarm going off upstairs and the neighbors called it in. $500 later … a new door was there and all was well again. I was just thankful it wasn’t a thief … thank you fire captain haha

  69. Alan 69

    We lived in the countryside in the west of England and never locked our doors for four years. However, the population of our village was about 60. If we lived in a city, we would do otherwise. As it is, we now live in a town of 5000 and lock everything.

  70. Alan 70

    We have a burglar alarm but its hidden. An alarm salesman suggested we should have one on show to deter burglars. I told him I don’t want to deter them; I want to catch the bastards!

  71. I think saying, “Here in US, we can’t do that.” Is a little extreme. I don’t lock my doors. I even leave my car keys in the ignition, even while I’m in the grocery store. It’s more about your exact location than anything.

    And alarms aren’t always the best protection. In my case it would be at least 30 mins before the police arrived (not that they are slow, just usually not nearby). You probably know from “It Takes a Thief” that most burglars are in and out in less than 10 mins.