1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your gutters, painting your soffets, or delivering your new appliances.
2. Thanks for letting me use the facilities when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlocked the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Nice flowers. You have taste … and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Newspapers piled up on the driveway, always a good sign. I should leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
5. If it snows while you’re out of town, have someone walk around in the snow or pull a car in the driveway and drive out. Unblemished drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
7. A good security company arms the window over the sink as well as the windows on the upper floors, which often access the master bedroom — and your jewelry. It’s a good idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door — understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)
10. I will look in your sock drawer? I check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet for things that you thought were hidden.
11. I almost never go into kids’ rooms. Not much in there of interest.
12. I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.
(Find it at http://amzn.to/jjgRKb )