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The Signs of Break-ins

Crystal Lassen

Having your home broken into can be a scary and unsettling occurrence. Many people feel violated and unsafe after their home has been entered without permission. Depending on the ease of entry and the intruder's methods, you might notice a break-in right away, or not for weeks.

Be especially mindful of easy access doors, such as sliding glass patio doors.

The more selective thieves often cover their tracks more meticulously than those who merely ransack your house and take your belongings.

Forced Entry

The easiest way to tell that your home has been broken into is through evidence of forced entry. Signs of forced entry include broken door or window locks that have been pried or kicked open. Glass from doors or windows might be broken out, allowing the thief to enter. People may also find that their garage doors have been pried open. Signs of forced entry are usually noticeable from the outside or inside.

Open Entry

Many people become victims of break-ins by leaving their homes open to intruders. Some people neglect to lock doors or windows, leaving thieves to gain easy access. When burglars enter at their leisure, this doesn't raise suspicion with the neighbors, which lessens the chances that the burglar will be caught. The signs of a break-in, in this case, will not be obvious from the outside.


Some burglars come and go, leaving few signs other than missing valuables. When burglars are selective and are looking for jewelry or cash, it may take a few days or even weeks for residents to realize that their belongings are missing. This type of burglary happens most often when people leave their homes vulnerable to break-ins by creating easy access for intruders.


Another sign of a break-in is the miscellaneous destruction of property. You may notice that your alarm system has been tampered with or that your privacy fence gate has been open or bent with force. You may notice signs of the burglar such as clothing items such as gloves that might have been left behind. You might notice unusual footprints outside, or even inside, the property. Sometimes people don’t notice that basement windows or high-level attic windows have been tampered with. The likelihood of a high-level break-in increases when your home has a trellis against it or a tree near it, as these are object that a burglar cam easily climb.