Why Some Homes Get Burgled and Others Don't

March 29, 2016
It could have as much to do with geography as curb appeal

Los Angeles is a city that was built for crime. According to architecture writer Geoff Manaugh’s new book, A Burglar’s Guide to the City, its urban form deserves at least part of the blame for the larceny inflicted upon us. In fact, the sprawl gave rise to what Manaugh calls an entirely different kind of policing: from helicopters. We talked to him about buildings, burglars, and bank robbers.

Certain parts of L.A. are more prone to burglary simply because of their architecture and design. Manaugh says cookie-cutter suburban development is a prime target.

“You are detached from your neighbors, you’ve got a backyard, you’ve got a little privacy fence, your house is similar not just to the houses around it, but there are going to be no architectural surprises for a burglar. They’re going to know where to go to find the bedroom, they’re going to know within the bedroom where to go to find the jewelry. There are just certain patterns people have.” ...