EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- In the dead of night, when no one is awake -- that's when it's most likely that a burglar will break into your home. It usually happens in minutes, but of all the house on the block, the thieves picked yours. What about your house made it a target?
Two El Paso County jail inmates are spilling their secrets. They are two men behinds dozens of break-ins back in 2011. We've concealed their face and disguised their voice at the request of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
Breaking in and making off with thousands of dollars in possessions came easy to them. The burglars say the houses they violated were open. They never had to break in.
Inmate #1 says, "We would go and just [check] door to door. We would run through backyards, just going door to door."
Their opportunities came in the form of doors left unlocked, garage doors never closed and patio screens unlatched, but it's what's on the outside of your house that begs burglary to break in.
"Lights off. It is the simplest thing," says Inmate #1.
Inmate #2 said, "If they're in a gated community, they're more likely going to hit those houses because they're more likely to be unlocked."
"If it's multi-level, we're probably definitely going in, cause that means you're upstairs and definitely out of our hair," Inmate #1 explained.
He continues, "A single-story house is small so you're in more close proximity to your victim, which you don't want to be. I don't want to wake you up. "
When asked, what in a home will make you turn away?
Inmate #2 responded, "Something as simple as a home security sign is a major deterrent."
"You got a motion light, we're out," and "A little dog will yap. Yap, yap, yap," said Inmate #1.
They say any indication on your home or vehicles that you could fight back could keep them away.
Inmate #2 explains, "If it's something that says you're Republican, you're not going to get hit because Republicans like their 2nd Amendment rights. They love carrying guns. I'm not going to mess with that guy."
If the thieves make it inside, they have just minutes to find something of value.
"I don't know if you're in there with a shotgun waiting for me. We're literally terrified," Inmate #1 says.
"We're not walking around with Mission Impossible glass cutters and suction cups."
The felons say homeowners usually make it easy for them, leaving their phone, keys and wallet or purse in the same spot every night.
"I would say at least a good 60% of the time we didn't have to go into your entire house to find what we wanted. Literally I could open your garage door to your house and you would have left $1,500 of stuff just sitting right there," Inmate #1 says.
They explained that if you have something easy to lift and sell, it's theirs.
"We're looking for easy accessible [items] like your TVs, not mounted on the wall, 'cause that's a pain," one inmate said.
"It was more of, 'We're high, it's the middle of the night, you have nothing to do, we know we need more money to get us high,'" they said, explaining their basic motives.
Their biggest advice to homeowners?
Inmate #1 says, "Take it upstairs with you. No one wants to get into a confrontation, so if your stuff is upstairs, I'm not going upstairs."
"Don't leave your curtains open in the middle of the night so everyone can see that you've got this giant TV or see you have a diamond chandelier," Inmate #2 says.
No matter where you live or what your house looks like, the burglars say, your first mistake is, "thinking it couldn't happen to them, cause it can happen to anyone."