Common Burglary Methods

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Today’s burglars are almost exclusively street gang members from out of the area: usually out of Los Angeles.  There are many reasons why burglars choose to target homes in Glendora and similar communities.  Most residential burglaries in Glendora occur during the daytime hours, usually between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, when residents are least likely to be home.  The most common tactic is for a crew of burglars (usually 3-4 subjects) to drive through residential areas looking for their target home.  They do not want confrontation, so they look for the house that appears unoccupied.  The most unassuming of the group (often a female) will approach the front door and ring the doorbell/knock several times, peering in any available windows.  Once they are satisfied that no one is home, a signal will be made to the waiting burglars or some type of communication through a cell phone.  Entry is usually made by entering the backyard and breaking a window or prying open a door.  Sometimes, the front door is actually kicked.  One of the crew members will usually wait in the getaway vehicle to act as a lookout.  These types of burglaries are referred to as “Knock-Knock Burglaries.”  Burglars are looking for jewelry, cash, guns, and electronics.

If you are home during the day and hear a knock at the door, do not ignore it.  Respond verbally by asking who is there.  Look outside through a peephole or a front-facing window.  If you do not recognize the person knocking on your door, feel free to call the police regarding a suspicious person.

Educate your children on the appropriate response in a potential burglary situation.  Remind them to call 9-1-1 if someone tries to break in or open the door.  If a child calls a parent instead of the police, it will delay police response. 


Residential burglaries are some the most difficult crimes for police to solve.  Investigators are forced to rely on evidence that oftentimes does not exist.  Catching burglars in the act is the best way to get them in custody.  On many occasions, residents witness suspicious activity or an actual burglary in progress and never call the police.  Don’t be that neighbor.

If you see a vehicle driving slowly down your street occupied by 3 or 4 subjects and you do not recognize the vehicle or people, call the police and report the suspicious activity.  It is better to have an officer investigate it and determine that it is nothing than to not report it and have it turn out to be a carload of burglars.  If you see one or more subjects jump over your neighbor’s wall or exit a neighbor’s house holding a pillowcase or electronics, please call the police. 

Police dispatchers will ask the make, model, and color of the suspect’s vehicle, the license plate if you can see it, and the number of occupants.  Regarding the subjects, the dispatchers will ask gender, race, age, clothing description, and any other physical descriptors.  This information will immediately be broadcast to responding officers to help them identify the correct vehicle and subjects.  Know your directions (the mountains are north) and give a good timeframe.  You would be surprised how far a car can drive in five minutes.

Get to know your neighbors.  If you and your neighbors are in the same frame of mind, suspicious activity is less likely to go unnoticed and unreported.