Crime Reporter Goes Viral for Sharing Tips on Staying Safe if Someone Tries to Break in Your House
Reporter Lori Fullbright says most burglars will move on if they know someone is home.
It's everyone's worst fear–you're home alone or with your family and someone tries to break into your house while you're there. Every 25.7 seconds a property break in happens, according to the FBI and knowing what to do in that instant can be lifesaving. Lori Fullbright is a reporter for News on 6 Tulsa and has been covering crime for 31 years. She's sharing her tips on how to stay safe and her advice is going viral on TikTok.
Don't Stay Quiet
A mistake many people make is being quiet and "pretending like you're not home," Fullbright said. That's one of the worst things to do because then the burglars will think nobody is home. She suggests making a lot of noise, especially if you're alone so it seems like more people are home and not just one person, which can scare them off.
Robbers Usually Want to Target an Empty House
Most people breaking into a house don't want any trouble. They want to steal your things and leave without a confrontation or getting caught, "I've interviewed hundreds of criminals," Fullbright shared in her TikTok. "The vast majority of them tell me that they want to hit a house that's empty," she revealed. "They want to kick in your door when you're gone, take all your stuff and leave. And it's terrible. If you come home and all your stuff is gone, people go, 'Oh, it's a property crime.' It's not. It's very personal, but it's way worse if you kick in that door and there you are inside pretending you're not there."
Houses are Hit During the Week Between Certain Hours
According to the veteran reporter, robbers have specific hours they prefer to strike because they think you're not home. "The vast majority of these burglars tell me they like to hit Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Why? Because they think you're gone. And that's really what most of them want is for you to be gone. They want an empty house, but they're not sure you're gone. So what do they do? They knock. They listen. No footsteps, no voices, no TV, no radio. So what do you think? The house is empty and boom, they kick it," she explained.
Burglars Use a Technique Called "a Knock and a Kick"
If a burglar doesn't think you're home, they will knock and then kick down your door. "It's called a knock and kick, and there's a lot of them," Fullbright explained. "The next time somebody knocks, don't get quiet, make noise, go talk through the door. 'Can I help you? I'm not interested. Move along.' They now know someone's inside. If you want, lie, for safety and say, 'Honey, get out of the shower. Somebody is at the door. Honey, stop loading the shotgun and feed the pit bulls.' I mean, whatever you want to say to let them know someone's in that house," she said.
Do Not Hide
If there's one thing not to do when someone knocks, it's hide, according to Fullbright. You need a plan if someone kicks in your door and you're home, "but let's try to prevent that," she said. She added, "I see so many cases, you guys, where it doesn't turn out well or someone hears someone knock, and you think, 'Oh, they'll just go away If I get quiet and hide' and bad things happen. And I see this a lot with kids. So I would definitely encourage you to teach your kids if someone knocks, don't get quiet, pretend they're not there, make a ruckus, because again, the vast majority of burglars won't come in if they know somebody's home."
Commenters Shared Their Thoughts With Some Agreeing with Her Advice and Others Not
The viral video has been watched over 1.5 million times with thousands of comments. "This is why my mom would leave on a radio when we'd leave the house," one person shared. Another agreed, typing, "We don't get quiet, but we don't answer unless we know who it is or what's going on. Too many crazies in the world, not opening for anyone." "I call for my dad. Even if he's not there," someone else claimed. Others disagreed and wrote, "I think it depends if they wanna rob you or harm you so it's a hit or miss," a user commented. Another seconded, "I would think burglars would know that people don't answer but are still in there."
If They Come In You Get Out
In a follow up video, the reporter shared tips on what to do if you are face to face with a criminal. She said everyone needs to have a plan that depends on their abilities, age and mindset. She went on to say that if a child is home alone and the house is broken into, "if they come in, you get out. If they kick in the front door, can you skedaddle out the back? Can you go to a designated neighbor's house and get help?"
Lock All Doors
Fullbright said, "You can also legally take a stand to defend yourself inside your own home. That means if you're trying to put as many locked doors between you and them just to buy some time, get in one locked room in your house, get your weapon of choice and call 911. A first degree burglary call where you're in your house and a burglary or suspect is in your house with you, that's a top priority call and cops take them very seriously, and they're racing to the scene."
The Top Items Stolen
Most robbers are going for expensive items to sell for cash and according to research fromSafeHome.org, here's a list of the most common items stolen.
–Personal electronics, 28.04%
–Cash or other liquid assets, 25%
–Identification documents, 9.12%
–Antiques, art, collectibles, 8.11%
–Business/office equipment, 5.74%
–Prefer not to answer, 5.74%
–Prescription drugs, 5.41%