Home || Contact || History || Divisions || Most Wanted

 Crime Stoppers || Press Releases || Community Projects

Sheriff Whisenant's Tip of the Month


February 2020


Burglary/Breaking and or Entering


Burglary/Breaking and or Entering ranks high on the list of crimes investigated at the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.  Victims can be traumatized and feel helpless after a criminal has entered what is considered a safe zone (home).  The following information may be helpful in preventing you from becoming a victim.  The information was provided from a study completed by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, which utilized information from 422 incarcerated individuals.


What deters burglars from burglarizing specific targets?

• Close proximity of other people (including traffic, those walking nearby, neighbors, people inside the establishment, and police officers), lack of escape routes, and indicators of increased security (alarm signs, alarms, dogs inside, and outdoor cameras or other surveillance equipment) was considered by most burglars when selecting a target.

• Within a broad set of potential target hardening deterrents, alarms and outdoor cameras and other surveillance equipment were considered by a majority of burglars.

• About 60% of the burglars indicated that the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target altogether. This was particularly true among the subset of burglars that were more likely to spend time deliberately and carefully planning a burglary.

• Most burglars would try to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary. Among those that determined that an alarm was present after initiating a burglary, about half would discontinue the attempt.


Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective

Kristie R. Blevins – Eastern Kentucky University

Joseph B. Kuhns – University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Suegmug “Zech” Lee – Western Illinois University


With data entry and report preparation assistance from:

Alex Sawyers – University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Brittany Miller – University of North Carolina at Charlotte

December 2012


Remember, anything you can do to deter a criminal is money well spent.  If you can’t afford expensive cameras or alarms, adding deadbolts to doors or installing motion sensor lights are other inexpensive ways to deter criminals.

To view previous released tips, visit our archives file