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How To Catch Someone Sneaking Around Your House: A Guide

How To Catch Someone Sneaking Around Your House: A Guide

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Have you ever had an eerie feeling that unwanted visitors are gaining access to your home and sneaking around the house?

You know,  small telltale signs such as doors you were certain you locked now being open, or the glass of water on the kitchen table being spilled? 

You wouldn’t be the first, nor will you be the last.

This can be a very scary experience. Thieves will not exactly make their criminal activity known and can use hiding spots over an extended period to scope out your home.

They could be waiting for the perfect opportunity to begin their illegal activity.

With this article, we are giving you a comprehensive guide on how to catch someone sneaking around your house.

With details ranging from identifying suspicious activity to homemade booby-traps, you will have all the information you need to keep your home safe from intruders.

Let’s get into it.

How to Tell if Someone Is Sneaking Around Your House

black man sneaking

There are a few homemade traps we can incorporate into our home to identify whether someone has gained entry, either while we were asleep or away on vacation.

The first method we can use is the paper trick. This is where we take a small, folded piece of paper, and trap it in the door where the hinges are. If unwanted visitors use this door to sneak around your home, the paper will drop. More details on this trick from a CIA officer can be found here. 

The next trick we can use is to check for a presence outside of the home. Maybe there are footprints in the garden, or your lock seems to have been adjusted or messed with.

Also, check to see if a car has been parked outside of your house for a prolonged period of time, or if a burglar chalk sign has been marked outside your house. This means your home is being scoped and could be marked as a target for crime.

How to Catch Someone Sneaking Around Your House in the Act

Security Systems

security camera

The simplest method of catching and deterring someone sneaking around your house is to have a security system that notifies law enforcement.

Most often, these utilize security cameras and sensors that trigger security lights and an alarm, resulting in the police being made aware of the situation and coming to prevent the crime. 

Security cameras outside of your house are also great for reducing the likelihood of crime around your home and neighborhood. However, be aware of blind spots that a would-be burglar may use to their advantage.

The Glass Booby Trap

Security systems can take a while to install, and you may need a solution now.

With this first homemade burglar trap, you must place a glass of water behind the door most likely to be accessed. For this trick to work, the door must open inward.

Before you go to sleep, balance the glass on an elevated surface behind the door. If the perpetrator tries to access this area of the house and open the door, the glass will fall, smashing on the ground, and waking you up.

DIY Trip Alarm

Setting a harm-inflicting booby trap on your property is asking for trouble, even if the person sneaking around your house is performing illegal activities.

Your best bet is to create an alarm that is activated when the intruder walks into a wire, where the circuit activates when the wire is pulled away. You could connect this to a pendulum that shakes some clattering cans, or even get fancy and purchase a set of shotgun blanks.

This booby trap will most definitely wake you up and give the perpetrator the fright of his life.

Get a Dog

dog guarding the house

This might be the strangest reason to get a dog, but if you needed some help convincing a family member to get one, the prevention of home invasions is a pretty good one.

Rather than purchasing expensive security systems, I know my dog will bark like crazy if anything enters the house at night.

If an intruder breaks in with the intention of theft or harm, a dog will kick up a storm, alerting you and hopefully scaring away the intruder.

What Should You Do if Someone Is Sneaking Around Your House?

It’s midnight, and you have just managed to fall asleep after a long day.

Suddenly, you awaken to the sound of your homemade burglar traps being triggered, or your security systems have detected movement.

This is undoubtedly a frightening situation, and panic may set in, with you frantically looking at ways to defend yourself and your home.

But safety should always come first. Take a breath and follow these six steps to ensure that you are as far from danger as possible.

1. Double-check that it is an intruder

Try to do this step as quickly and safely as possible. If you can, check your security cameras within the house to ensure it is an unwanted intruder. If not, try to listen carefully for shuffling and opening doors, or other homemade burglar traps being triggered.

2. Look For A Way Out

Once you have confirmed that it is an intruder, your adrenaline will probably begin to surge, resulting in a fight or flight feeling. Calm down, and select the latter. Engaging could make the situation even more dangerous. Find a safe way to exit without alerting the criminal. You know your home better than anyone, so if there’s a safe window or fire exit, use it.

3. Hide

In some cases, if a quick exit is not in the cards, you need to find a hiding place. Find somewhere inconspicuous where you can stay put and contact emergency services. Make sure you can lock this door, and barricade it as much as you can.

4. Contact Emergency Services

The most critical part of keeping yourself safe is to call the police as quickly as possible. If you do not have alarms that do this for you, then call 911 or use the Emergency SOS function. Talk quietly but clearly, answering all the questions the dispatcher may have. This includes your name and location, as well as describing the intruder using your security cameras if possible. 

5. Follow Instructions

The dispatcher is likely to stay on the line until help arrives. Stay calm, and listen to their advice. Try to inform them of your location at all times, and if they say to do something, or move somewhere, follow their instructions. When help arrives, you will need to be prepared to answer questions about the situation, especially if the intruder escapes.

Four Tips to Keeping Your House Safe From Intruders

door chain

Now we have discussed what to do if the unfortunate event occurs, how can we avoid it ever happening to us, or at least reduce the likelihood?

  • Using a door chain is a great way to increase the security of your home. By adding an extra lock to the door, you are making the life of an intruder even harder.
  • Another common point of entry is the windows. Any skilled thief will try to unlock them when they break in, but if you invest in window safety locks that only allow partial opening, your house will be safer. This is mostly necessary on the ground floor.
  • Try to grow thistles and nettle bushes in likely entry or hiding places in the back garden. This will make an attempt to break into your house a lot harder and more painful for the intruder.
  • Finally, if you notice any burglar chalk signs or a random blob of paint outside your home, contact the police. This is a sign that a group of criminals has scoped your house as a target for burglary, and at some point in the near future could come back to break into your home.


And that’s it. All the information you will ever need on how to catch someone sneaking around your house, and hopefully prevent any criminal activity.

By following our advice, you can set up professional — or makeshift — security systems that will wake you up and allow you to get ahead of the criminal by calling the police or scaring them off.

You can also follow our tips and tricks on what to do if someone breaks in, or keep your house from becoming a burglary target, keeping you and your family safe.

So, what booby traps would you set up to catch someone sneaking around the house?

Have you had any experience coming face-to-face with a burglar?

Let us know in the comments below.

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