It Takes a Thief: Six Things We Learned From This 2005 Reality Series

It Takes a Thief

What would it take for you to better secure your home? Would it take a robbery? Although shocking, on the reality TV series It Takes a Thief people discovered how their homes lack security with the help from two ex-burglars, John Douglas Rainey and Matt Johnston. Rainey and Johnston teach homeowners how to make sure their homes are safe and protected from robberies after robbing the houses themselves (with the owner’s consent, of course). Luckily, it doesn’t take a robbery to learn how to secure your home. Here are six things we learned from the series and how you can be prepared.

False Sense of Security
Living in a nice neighborhood and locking your front door doesn’t mean you can’t be robbed. In fact, it could make you a potential victim. If the front door doesn’t work, robbers can find other ways into your house like through back doors and windows. It is best to make sure all doors and windows are securely locked whether you are at home or not.

Why Your House Could Be the Place to Rob
Robbers look for hideouts such as parking lots and trees. They need to make sure there aren’t many people around like nosy neighbors. Robbers will also an easy access and exit to your house that is well covered or concealed. On the show, Matt and John surprised owners with how they could sneak undetected when shrubbery or trees provided an enclosed exit.

Robbers have to be quick and sufficient so the less time it takes to get in and out of your house, the better. On an episode of It Takes a Thief, the robber only needed 10 minutes to escape with approximately $400,000 worth of merchandise. If you have an open floor plan it could make it easier for a thief to move around.

Valuable Items
Despite what the movies show, robbers usually won’t attempt the safes, which take too long. They will however steal anything that could make them a quick buck. Some of the items they may take can include:

  • Electronics/Software
  • DVDs
  • Check books
  • Credit cards
  • Clothing
  • Paintings
  • Keys
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Business cards

With your electronics and bank account information, robbers are able to learn everything about you, giving them the capability to steal your identity and make you the criminal. Make sure your paper money is sealed away as securely as the valuable jewelry.

Don’t Talk to Strangers
Cliché? Yes. Still true? Absolutely. On the show these burglars have discussed how they’ve met people in bars, clubs, or games, and were able to learn about someone’s work and/or vacation schedules, expensive hobbies, and where they live. Weeks or months later, the burglars were able to rob them, leaving the victim wondering how that could have happened. Don’t make that mistake and don’t open up too easily to someone you’ve just met.

There are many inexpensive ways to secure your home that won’t leave a hole in your wallet. A simple lock on all windows and doors can make a robber change their mind. You can also purchase a sharp, thorny plant that will be painful for any robber, and can produce DNA evidence. Investing in a few porch lights for the front and back doors is a great way to keep your home protected and scare off any intruders before they get in. There are also security systems like the ones on Northstar alarm reviews that don’t require keys but a personal code to arm the alarm. Use the right kind of security system that works for you and your situation.

The result of a robbery can be far worse than missing items. As Johnston stated, “Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them, and then when it does, it’s the worst feeling in the world.” Having learned these six tips from the series It Takes a Thief, our homes can now be better protected from even the most skilled robbers.


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