Can you guess what kind of weather a burglar prefers?

Moss Hill historic home near Pine Apple, Alabama

Weather and burglaries? It sounds like it would be difficult to make any sort of believable connection between the two events, but recent findings may surprise you. Can you guess which season one report from the Department of Justice found to be most associated with break-ins?

Is it winter? That would make sense. More people tend to travel away from colder weather to warmer climates, leaving their home open for uninvited guests.

Or is it summer, where the weather makes it easier for would-be criminals to “camp out” and wait to make their hit? There could be a case for any season actually, so one guess is as good as any. But the DOJ report from 2014 found that summer meant a 10.5% increase in the chance of having one’s home burglarized. The study looked at data collected between 1993 and 2010, and investigated the correlation of seasonal patterns for all types of crimes.

Given that summer and winter provide two “extremes” of weather (although this varies based on geography), the study keep the focus on just these two seasons for their data collection.


So why is this the case?

There seem to be two theories as to why hot weather tends to lead to more aggressive behavior. One theory, as investigated in a study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that rising temperatures tend to be associated with more aggression in general, which then relates to more criminal activity. This does make sense, but if heat is associated with acute aggression, it seems odd that a coordinated crime such as a break-in is would fall into the same pool.

The second theory ties to what was mentioned in relation to winter – that more activity generally happens in the summer, meaning more people are out of their homes which opens up opportune times for burglars.

Whatever the reason might be, the data is there to show to that summer is the time to consider upping your game with home security. If you don’t have any home defense yet, it’s never too late to make the change.

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