The average professional burglar is devoted to his craft. Like other professionals, he’s likely to work with specific tools of the trade. Many of these implements are common household items obtained at any hardware or home improvement store. You may even have some of these tools at home. Not surprisingly, stealth is the burglar’s chief mode of operation. Although many burglaries are brazen, taking place in full daylight, and even under neighbors’ noses, most burglars are interested in avoiding notice or scrutiny. Any tools they carry will be small and easily concealed. Some criminals may take advantage of items left accessible on your property; another reason to pick up after yourself and put away loose items. For example, a brick wrapped in something like a jacket can be used to smash in a back door window fairly quietly. Similarly, opportunistic burglars may take advantage of common tools such as shovels, hammers, or other implements. Other tools that might be found in a burglar’s bag of tricks include screwdrivers, wire cutters, crowbars, “slim jims,” and center hole punches. A screwdriver is a relatively small, easily obscured item that can be used to unscrew door hinges. Wire cutters can be enlisted to inactivate poorly-installed phone security lines or camera power lines. A crowbar or slim jim can be used to quickly pry open doors or windows. A slim jim is a tool marketed to consumers to facilitate reentry into locked cars when the keys have been lost or left inside by mistake. Also known as a “lockout tool,” it consists of a thin strip of metal with “teeth” (usually made of stainless steel, for strength) which can be slipped into tight spaces to undo a latch. A center hole punch (also known as an automatic center punch) is a relatively small, specialized tool that can be pressed against a surface, such as a window, storing energy in an internal spring. Eventually the spring releases pent-up energy, and a hole is punched in the glass. It’s essentially a striking tool that requires no hammer to operate.