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Do Alarm Systems Work? Confessions of a Veteran Burglar

Security-Alarms-Systems Traditional Alarm System

In March 2017 a study was conducted to answer a simple question; Do alarm systems work? To find out, researchers1 conducted interviews and surveys with convicted burglars to get an answer from the criminal perspective. The short answer is… No, they don't work.

As told by veteran thief Nick Kyriazis, who is serving 70 years in prison and estimates has robbed over 150 houses, and with multiple surveys from other convicted felons, here are a few of the lessons learned:

Conventional alarms don't work

Kyriazis explains criminals don't care if a house has an alarm since they usually plan to be in and out in 2-3 minutes to grab valuables and disappear. In fact, they look for houses with activated alarms because it tells them that the owners are not home and it's an easy target. If they have money for an expensive alarm system they got something inside worth stealing.

Regular cameras also don't work

Regular cameras also do not dissuade thieves. The simple solution for them is to hide their faces or wear masks. The fact is that most thieves do not care about leaving behind images or evidence, so they don't care if you record them.

Burglars do their research

Most burglars like to recon the property before going in. Odds are that before they hit the home they have been inside the perimeter a few times before looking for an easy way in, what types of valuables are inside when the owners will be out and more. Protecting the perimeter is as important as protecting the home.

They don't always prefer the night

You would think that burglars prefer the cover of night, but over 50% said the best time to attack is between 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. As they try to avoid owners being home, they choose these hours where owners are probably at work or school.

They play the numbers

Only a jaw-dropping 13.1% of burglaries are solved by law enforcement. That means that roughly 9 out of 10 times the burglar will get away with it. They know very well their odds are hugely in their favor and they push the limit of these odds.

Some are prepared for the worse

Although some burglars avoid running into owners, others simply don't care and are prepared to cause bodily harm is they run into the owners. Some burglars are even under influence of alcohol and drugs and can react if confronted. It is imperative never to engage an intruder and always stay in a safe location during an incident.

The best way to protect yourself

Have a pair of eyes looking at your property. If the owner or a neighbor confronts the would-be burglar in the recon stage, they will go on to the next house. The key is protecting your perimeter proactively before the burglar goes inside your home.


How can you even the playing field and keep your home safe? You can use Ai-Sentinel to monitor your perimeter 24/7 with artificial intelligence and catch a would-be thief before he/she even recons your home. A more advanced, more secure and more economical alternative to conventional alarms. Keep your home and family safe.

[1] See Rossen Report, by Anneke Foster and Jeff Rosen, March 2017,

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