Burglary vs Home Invasion – What’s the difference?

You might be worried about Home Invasions more than Burglary, but home invasions in Canada are relatively rare. Many home invasions end up being linked to a drug deal gone wrong or a soured relationship.

Burglary, however, is far more common. Statistics for London, Ontario, for example, show that in 2019 there were 16,794 property crimes. On average, that’s roughly 46 per day, excluding the ones that weren’t reported. Of those 16,794, nearly two thousand were break and enter crimes. Other property crimes include theft, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property and fraud.


Burglary is Very Common

Pretty much everyone has experienced theft or Burglary of some kind without the added agony of a home invasion. Package theft from front porches, theft of lawnmowers, bicycles or garden furniture from backyards and theft from unlocked houses frequently happens in many neighbourhoods across Ontario. Most criminals want to avoid a confrontation with people, which is a big reason why home invasions are far less common than burglary. 

Break and enter, however, means that the robbery took place after forcibly entering a locked property. Besides property damage, which is costly, the feeling of violation can be surprisingly substantial. Besides stealing your ‘stuff,’ some of which might be irreplaceable, burglars often steal your peace of mind at the same time. To find out how you feel about your London ON neighbourhood, check out the online Crime Map. You can sort reported crimes by area, date or a specific type of crime you are wondering about.


More Information on Burglary

Contrary to what people might think, the most popular time for break-ins is between 10 AM and 3 PM – when people are at work, out shopping, etc. Whether those burglars are unarmed is hard to know, but weapons are not needed to Commit Burglary. Tools are not usually required. 

Burglars often ring the front doorbell, then swiftly kick the door in and close it behind them. In the meantime, a passerby may think nothing of someone at the front door, and the splintered door frame is rarely noticeable from the street either. 

Are burglars planning and plotting while casing homes? In a James Bond movie, yes! But in regular life, many burglaries are crimes of opportunity. “Casing” in those cases is seeing no cars followed by no one answering the door. Pretty simple. However, if you post on social media about your trip plans or make other common mistakes like that, you might find yourself the victim or a more professional planned burglary. Visit the London Police website for more Crime Prevention tips. 


What Can You Do?

In general, what can you do to protect yourself and your home? Have good security habits – lock the car and the house at all times, even when you are home. Be vigilant with your keys and your door codes. Invest in good locks, especially deadbolts. Invest in and use a professionally monitored security system – it can save your life or your pet’s life if you add smoke and CO detection. Have your alarm provider sticker all four sides of your house and provide them with a good call list so that the police can reach you if there is a valid occurrence on your property.