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Texas Home Safety

Inside the Mind of a Dallas Thief 


Michael Shayne Durden has burglarized hundreds of Dallas and Collin County homes.  For 20 years he spent his life perfecting the art of how to break into homes and steal thousands of dollars worth of valuables.

He was getting away with it until the Allen Poice Department caught him. He is now facing 20-30 years in jail. 

In a recent interview with the Allen police department, he explains what he looks for when targeting a neighborhood & shares what homeowners can do to protect their property from thieves. 

Watch this video on YouTube


1) What makes a neighborhood attractive to thieves?

He targets settled homes, meaning homes of a certain status. If you can afford a 10k fence around your home, most likely you'll have valuable items inside your home. 


2) Does having a dog deter a burglar?

No, unless it's a really, really, big dog. That's very aggressive.


3) Do Neighborhood Watch programs work?

Yes. He applauds the efforts of Neighborhood Watch & the VIP program. His biggest thing is he doesn't want to be recognized. He won't go to neighborhoods in Allen, Plano, Richardson, and other parts of North Dallas, because of the Neighborhood Watch programs. 


4) What makes a house attractive to a burglar?

He's looking for an empty looking house.

A house in a neighborhood, with an income of over 250k a year that doesn't have a manicured yard, Micheal say's he assumes you're simply on vacation, and he will go into that house.

Glass doors on the front and the back of houses would allow him to scope out what's on the inside.

Another big sign that people are out of town is trash bins that are left outside after trash day.

Full mailboxes, and newspapers left on the ground.

No lights left on inside the home, not the front room, but an interior light. A light that has been left on in the front of the house is far too obvious.


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5) What will stop him going into a house?

A vehicle in the driveway will stop him from going in a house.

A current alarm permit, which should be stuck on the front door or around the front door, and shows that your alarm is connected directly to the police station.

Cameras on the house. 

He would target houses in the daytime when most people are at work or out running errands. If he knocks on the door, and a person answer's, or he hears a noise inside, he'll leave straight away. He doesn't want you to see him or be able to describe him. 


5) Once a burglar targets a house, what's next?

He'll look for registration/permit to the city, for their alarm. That tell's him if the alarm is connected directly to the police. That will prevent him from going in. 

6) Once a burglar is in the house. How much time is spent inside?

5 - 7 minutes.

8) What can a homeowner do to not make their house an easy target to a burglar? 

Keep your window shuttered, so there no lines of sight to the alarm system. He'll use his phone camera to scale in on your alarm to look at the colors.

Put a sticker or permit on your front door, with the permit number. Put alarm signs in your yard - that say wireless alarm system.  

Solid doors that you can't see through.  

Outdoor camera's, (can even be bogus) with LED security lights around it. 

Kicker plate around your door. 

Double plated glass windows - the type that crack extremely loud. 


The Thumann Agency is a premier independent insurance agency in Dallas, representing over 80 top-rated companies that not only offer the best rates and coverage but also deliver a superior standard of protection. Call and talk to us today for a free, no-obligation insurance quote 972.991.9100