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Failed Break-In: Will Burglars Come Back to the Same House?

Getting burgled is a scary prospect. 

Having a stranger walk around your property without you knowing and stealing your sentimental items is bad enough. But having them return is an even scarier thought.

Read on to find out about the likelihood of burglars coming back to the same house, and pick up some important tips to know if someone breaks into your home.

Do Failed Burglars Come Back?

A quarter of repeat burglaries took place just one week after the first, and over half took place within one month.

4 Things You Need to Do After Someone Tries to Break Into Your House

After someone has broken into your home, it’s important to act quickly and increase security measures to protect yourself and your possessions from the risk of them coming back to the same house.

Here’s what to do after someone tries to break into your house.

1. Install home security cameras

Sirens are a great way to create a sense of threat. Because thieves don’t want to be caught on camera or have the owner notified of their presence (and therefore able to alert the police), they are less likely to break into a property with home security systems.

break-in footage captured by AlfredCamera
Break-in footage captured by AlfredCamera.

The AlfredCamera app.

2. Hide valuable possessions

If a burglar comes back to the same house, they’ll make a beeline for the items they want. Don’t make it easy for criminals

Move valuable possessions around so they don’t know where to find them, and always hide the most valuable upstairs, preferably in a safe. 

If a burglar notices things have moved, they may give up on the property, since the longer they stay there, the higher the risk.

Some of the most common items burglars target are:

  • Car keys
  • Garage fobs
  • Jewelry and watches
  • Money
  • Safes
  • Laptops, computers, and tablets
  • Handbags
  • Designer clothes

For example, keep laptops and tablets upstairs in a room with the door closed. Move car keys and garage fobs into a bedroom.

3. Repair damage quickly

One of the main reasons why burglars return is because the entry points are damaged. For example, if they broke in via the garage door, they know that it’s weakened, or the lock is broken.

While getting repair work done can take time to organize, it needs to be done ASAP to avoid vulnerabilities being exploited. 

4. Change schedules

Burglars committing premeditated home invasions know when you leave the house for work and what time you return. So, they’re more likely to break in when they think no one is home.

If possible, change your schedule to throw off the scent and prevent them from returning. If you fear burglars coming back to the same house, try the following: 

  • Walk the dog an hour later than usual.
  • Work from home most days or on different days than usual.
  • Go to the gym in the morning instead of the evening.
  • Invite friends to visit rather than meeting them in town.

If the burglary took place, for example at 3pm on a Tuesday, make sure you’re home every Tuesday at 3pm for the next few weeks.

Why Do Failed Burglars Come Back?

You’d think a burglar wouldn’t try their luck again after breaking in and failing to burglarize it, but this isn’t true because a failed break-in usually isn’t a failed break-in at all.

Burglars may come back to the scene of the crime to carry out what they prepared for the first time they broke in. One break-in is enough to confirm exactly what is inside the property and where it is. 

The main reasons burglars come back are:

  • They know the layout of the property.
  • They know how to get in.
  • They are better prepared for what’s inside.
  • They know what valuables they left behind.
  • They feel more confident after not being caught last time.
  • They know when the property is empty.
  • Entry points are damaged and not yet repaired, making it easier for them to break in again.
  • They know most homeowners will not have had time to install extra security measures to prevent a second break-in.

Will Someone Break Into My House?

Most burglaries are pre-meditated in the US, according to Forbes. This means a property has been assessed by thieves and specifically targeted. However, even opportunist burglars will break into some homes more than others.

If someone is going to break into your house, it’s probably because:

  • There are no visible security measures.
  • You don’t have home security cameras.
  • Locks are in poor condition.
  • You don’t have a dog.
  • The property grounds are dark.
  • There are no motion detection lights.
  • It’s empty for long periods, especially overnight.
  • Windows and doors are routinely left open or unlocked.
  • It looks vacant (with overflowing mail, no lights, blinds left open for several days, etc.).
  • Valuables can be seen through the window (like TVs, tablets, laptops, etc.).
  • No cars are in the driveway or parked outside.
  • There is no backyard fence.
  • There are no close neighbors.
  • You live in a high-crime area.
  • Thieves have previously targeted neighbors.


Burglars are known to come back to the same house after a break in, even if the burglary failed in the first instance.

The logic behind this is that a single break in is enough to confirm the presence of valuables, the layout of the house, and other information necessary to carry out a burglary. 

That’s why it is so important to immediately take action after you experience a break in, even if nothing has been taken. Security cameras are essential, as is fixing any structural damage left behind.