There’s good news and bad news here.

Since home break-ins are inherently bad news, let’s get to the good news first. For New Jersey, you may be surprised to know we are the 8th safest of all 50 states when it comes to the likelihood of a break-in.

Surprising to me since gun laws here are so onerous and restrictive that it discourages plenty of homeowners from keeping protection in their house or apartment. Or is that actually one reason why we have fewer here?

Consider the security company ADT stats on the most coveted items thieves are looking for. Firearms are number 2 on the list. The bad news is it still happens here plenty. For every 100,00 people in the Garden State, 184.6 suffer a burglary or robbery break-in every year.

The worst state is New Mexico with nearly 5 times that many.

The safest state when it comes to home break-ins? New Hampshire.

Do home security systems help? Yes. Residences with no home security are 300% more likely to be broken into, according to FBI statistics. Now here’s a stat that might really surprise you: 75% of American homes do not have a security system.

Yellow police tape

Do burglars most often hit at night to use the cover of darkness? No. The majority of break-ins occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when people are less likely to be home.

Have you heard talk that most burglars come back in a few weeks to enter the same home? Well it’s true: 51% of homes that are broken into are hit a second time within six weeks. And the reason is burglars are savvy enough to know about how long insurance claims take to go through and that the money will be spent on replacing stolen items with brand new ones. Plus they’ll know their way around your home this time making it quicker and safer for them.

Now the two statistics on break-ins that utterly floored me are these.

One, it’s been estimated using predictive analysis that over the next 20 years 75% of all homes in the United States will have a break-in.

Two, statistics show 65% of victims actually personally knew the burglar. A friend or a neighbor or some other acquaintance is most likely to be the guilty party. I was floored by this.

Let's hope it never happens to you but if it does, at least you won't be an 8-year-old boy named Kevin and just remember the line, "Keep the change ya filthy animal."

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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