“20/20” Lets Us Into the Mind of a Burglar

Written by | Updated May 17, 2013

Chris Patterson, an ex- thief and burglar, recently gave 20/20’s Deborah Roberts, along with the entire nation, a great deal of insight into the mind of a burglar in the May 3rd airing of ABC’s True Confessions series. As an ex-con, Patterson tells us everything we need to know about how a burglar scouts a home, what they stay away from, which houses make easy targets, and much more.

One might ask why an ex-burglar would reveal all of his secrets, and to that Patterson said, “People make it so easy for burglars to victimize them. The only reason that I even talk about this is because I don’t want it to happen to people. It would be great if other people didn’t have to go through what my victims went through.”

“Turns out a home robber is as choosy as a home buyer,” said the interviewer when she heard the first-hand confessions from Patterson. “Some houses just scream ‘rob me,’ and others not so much.”

Perhaps the most surprising bit of information we learned from Patterson is that he still robbed plenty of homes protected by alarm systems because many owners neglected to turn them on. On the other hand, it’s no surprise that a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign alone was enough to scare Patterson away from homes.

Watch the video here for the full story, and let us know what you consider to be Patterson’s most shocking burglary tricks, the most useful tips, revelations, and warnings.

Written by Hillary Johnston

A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more

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