Former burglar gives advice to make your home burglar-proof

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some forms of protection can make homeowners shell out big bucks to defend their homes and families. But what really works best to keep you and your home safe and less enticing to burglars might just be free.

Clayborne Taylor is proud of his home and will do whatever he can to protect it, but only 10 years ago, he was the one breaking into houses to support a drug addiction.

He broke into so many residences that he lost count.

Now he wants to make sure it never happens to you and showed WREG what makes a home an easy target.

“I would see boxes of someone who bought a new TV,” Taylor said. “You know they got that in there.”

He also talked about what will send a burglar packing.

“Dogs, cameras, nosy neighbors,” he said.

Taylor wanted to show what he’s done around his home to make it every burglar’s worst nightmare. Along with bells on his on his doors to alert him to an intruder, he has a home security system with sensors on all of his windows visible from the outside.

“That would stop me because I know there is an alarm system there,” he said.

And Taylor said when you’re not at home, keep all your blinds closed, keep some lights on inside and leave on a radio or TV.

“You don’t know who’s inside, what’s going on inside,” Taylor said.

The more lights you have on the outside of your home, the better.

“I leave all of them on,” Taylor said. “Every light you see will be on at night.”

While the home security cameras like Ring weren’t around when Taylor was burglarizing homes, he said they would have definitely made him think twice about going inside.

“That would have been a very big deterrent — a very big deterrent,” he said.

He said crooks also don’t want to deal with dead bolts or bars, anything that could slow them down.

But what Taylor is really counting on to keep his home safe is his German Shepherd pup Midnight

“I hate the see the reaction of someone who sees a 180-pound dog,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the best place to keep a dog if it’s not in a gated yard is inside the home.

He said next to a noisy dog, nothing beats a nosy neighbor, and he said it pays to know who is living around you.

“I have a neighbor next to me, Mr. Greg,” Taylor said. “He knows what’s going on, and he will contact, he’ll call the police if anything goes wrong.”

If anything, Taylor said just say hello to you neighbors because they may be the protection you need some day if someone tries to get into your home.

Taylor said he would also steer away from tidy homes with nice yards. He said when it looks like someone cares about the outside of their home, they are more likely to have taken steps to protect what’s inside the home.

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