Think that an alarm system or a guard dog will protect you from robbers? Think again.
Jen Gomez, a former “cat burglar” who spent 10 years in a Florida prison, recently got candid about what it takes to successfully pull off a heist, sharing her prerequisites for what comprised the perfect, rob-able home.
“I started to kind of have a little mental checklist,” she explained. “There were things that I had on me and things that I would look for in the home that I was going to burglarize.”
@jenjen.gomez PROTECT YOUR HOME AGAINST BURGLARY.. I used to be a burglar.. here’s the checklist I used to follow! #burglar #burglary #floridalife #floridaprison #prison #lowell #prisonshower #homes #homebreakin #protectyourhome #prisonstories #prisontiktok #prisonbreak #jailstories ♬ original sound - Jen Jen Gomez
The first order of business on Gomez’s list? Take a peek at the forecast.
“The first thing I would do is check the weather,” Gomez explained, noting that gloomy days were always superior to sunny days when it came to pulling off a successful hit.
“If it's raining, drizzling, just sprinkling even a little bit, the best of the best," the ex-con explained, noting that sunny, warm days often brought more people — and therefore possible witnesses — outdoors.
“People are not only not outside, but they also aren't going to chase you,” she continued. “they're not going to come outside just to be nosy because they think something looks weird and get all wet.”
With a nice, rainy day and a plan to strike at what Gomez dubbed “prime time” — the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. when very few people are at home — her next task was to find houses that proudly boasted a security system.
Beyond signaling that there were items of value inside — “people that have alarms will likely have something that they want to protect,” she added — Gomez said this also gave her a consistent time frame, citing regulations preventing police from heading to the scene before a representative from the alarm company spoke with the homeowner.
“I got at least a good 10 to 15 minutes, and that for me, was all I needed,” she said.
After identifying a low window allowing her to escape with ease, Gomez said she made sure the home in question had pets.
'Most people that have money and nice homes and nice things in their homes do not keep their animals locked up,” she added, noting that roaming animals often meant “that the motion sensors for the alarm system were likely off.”
After scoping out the perfect house, Gomez would make sure she looked the part, slicking her hair back, and donning scrubs and sporting shoes that were most definitely not her size.
“I was trying to get the big, big head honchos,” she said. “The real, real upper class.”
So take it from Gomez — robbing is like almost everything in life: Go big or go (to someone else’s) home.