"Burglar-proofing doesn't mean just installing an alarm system," KBOI2 reminds us in an article offering home security tips from police.
Boise Police Sgt. John Terry offered some tips:
Just as you like to peek in the windows of a store you might want to shop at, burglars want a look inside your home. "So when a thief comes up [to a house] he's probably going to look through the windows to see if this house is a place he will want to come back to and look for something valuable to take," explained Terry. "So he can come over here and look through the window - I can automatically see a laptop, I can see a women's purse over there, I can see a large screen TV or monitor and some other miscellaneous computer equipment. Looks like there's something of value that's quick and easy for him to take."
Update your windows
Consider upgrading your windows if you have an older home. "The older style windows will have just one, leaving the middle, it's super simple, they'll just bow out the window just slightly enough to defeat the lock, and away they go, they open the window, and now they can get in."
Keep your lawn groomed
Ensure street view of your home isn't obstructed by overgrown landscaping, so that potential burglars can't easily hide while approaching their target.
Use light to your advantage
"Get a motion light, the light comes on, it tells the thief that now someone has the opportunity to look at me, so the neighbors could then see me looking around the house maybe, otherwise, he's in the darkness the whole time," said Terry.
Make it look as though someone is home
Burglars want a home that is easy to get in and out of quickly and undetected. Their "job" becomes much harder if you are in the home - and they know this. Set TVs, lights, radios, etc. on timers. Consider a TV Light Simulator, which mimics on-screen motion, simulating the exact type of light produced by a real HDTV.
Don't neglect your garage
Many families leave their garage open for extended periods of time, especially in the warmer months. "You left it open for some reason," said Terry. "They look in there [and see] two high-end bicycles on the wall; they can also see two tool chests immediately accessible... all they have to do is walk in here and grab it."
Trust your neighbors
it's better to leave a key with a trusted neighbor than under a rock or potted plant.
Advertise your security system
If you have a home security system, Terry advises letting burglars know it's there! This makes scheming thieves more likely to skip your home altogether and move on to an easier target. If a home alarm system isn't in your budget right now, you can give burglars the impression that your home is protected with a home security sign.