MEMPHIS -- (WMC) -- To help you protect your home, the WMC Action News 5 Investigators worked with prison inmates who were convicted of burglarizing Mid-South homes to find out what they looked for when it came to choosing a house to target.
Several weeks ago, WMC5 Investigator Sasha Jones sent questionnaires to 100 Tennessee inmates serving time for burglary. The questionnaires included questions like, "How did you choose your targets? Which security measures scared you off? Did pets inside the home deter you?"
Anonymous responses poured in over the course of five weeks. The majority of inmates said they typically entered a home or apartment through an unlocked door or window, or by breaking windows.
"I never did apartments. Too many neighbors.."
Once inside, thieves searched drawers for jewelry, cash and guns. One of the inmates surveyed said he searched "normal places that people keep things. I don't tear the house up looking."
Only half of the inmates said home protection or security signs posted outside deterred them from breaking into the houses they chose.
"Alarms only make time spent inside less."
"Sometimes you break in anyways and do a smash and grab."