UNCC study provides insight into the minds of home burglars

UNCC study provides insight into the minds of home burglars

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Updated Thursday, May 16 at 6:06 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Burglars are a nightmare for homeowners, and a new study is giving residents insight into how they think.

“422 incarcerated burglars were willing to talk to us and share their stories and hardly any of them declined participation,” said Dr. Joseph Kuhns.

The University of North Carolina Charlotte Researcher spent more than two years on the study titled, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective.”

“If they can avoid a house that has an alarm system they will and move on to another one that doesn’t,” he said.

Henry Funderburk lives on Manchester Drive in west Charlotte; his neighbor had a break-in on Monday.

"I don't want to be a victim; I did my time around the world. I don’t want to be a victim at home," said the retired Army veteran.

He has a burglar alarm, and as the study shows, that might be the reason his home was spared.

The study says that 83-percent of burglars would determine if a home has an alarm before trying to break in; 60-percent said they would pick another house if they found one, while only 13-percent said they would proceed.

Other findings: men typically break in for money, women for drugs, and of 422 inmates interviewed only one said he was after guns.

“They are not breaking-in to houses to steal firearms, and that’s an important message for those who are involved in this debate,” said Kuhns.

There are far more male burglars than female, but women don’t operate the same way Kuhns says.

"They are more impulsive, less deliberate about their planning; they are more likely to engage in daytime residential burglaries.”

The study was funded by the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation.

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