Borrow a BURGLAR! Firm uses ex-cons to burglary-proof clients' homes

Borrow a BURGLAR! Security firm is sending reformed crooks to case out clients’ homes and look for easy ways for GENUINE criminals to gain entry

  • Security firm in Edinburgh is hiring ex-cons to test security of people’s property
  • Boundary says convicted burglars provide an ‘unparalleled’ insight into security
  • Firm is offering the expertise to a select number of people who use their service
  • CEO Robert Knox says it also provides ex-cons with opportunity to turn it around 

A security firm is allowing homeowners to ‘borrow a burglar’ for the day to help them make their properties safe from criminals.

Security firm Boundary is hiring convicted burglars to attend properties and test the ways criminals might be able to gain entry.

The ex-criminals, who it’s assured are all reformed, will then explain what precautions the homeowners should be taking against would-be thieves.

Anyone with a security system from Boundary, an Edinburgh-based start-up, can apply for the service but it will only be available to a limited number of people.

CEO Robin Knox said: ‘Most of us don’t have the mindset of a burglar and therefore wouldn’t spot half of the places they might be able to gain access to in our homes.

A company in Scotland is offering homeowners the chance to ‘borrow a burglar’ to crime-proof their properties by using the expertise of a convicted criminal to spot potential vulnerabilities

Luke Harris has been hired by security firm Boundary as a consultant to check people’s homes 

Tips from convicted burglars to make your home burglar proof 

Install a burglar alarm – an alarm, even if its just a convincing fake, might be enough to deter any burglars from even attempting to break into your home.

Install a deadlock – this will make it a lot harder and time-consuming to pick a lock. In most cases, a burglar will move on when they realise they’re up against a deadlock.

Use a recording of a barking dog – some alarm companies offer one that uses a barking dog noise which will attract unwanted attention to the burglars.

Keep on top of gardening – if the lawn is freshly mowed, then burglars will question whether a house is in fact vacant. It also gets rid of any potential hiding spots.

Install CCTV – Like with burglar alarms, these don’t always need to be functioning. If a burglar is casing your home, they’ll likely avoid yours because of the increased risk of getting caught.

Buy motion-activated lights – these lights will come on when anyone comes near your property, making sure that burglars can’t break in without being seen.

Don’t post holiday snaps online – Too many people freely put information about their schedules on social media, which helps burglars when it comes to figuring out when to steal from a property.

Use WD-40 on windowsills – An unconventional but effective way to get rid of thieves trying to get in your home. The WD-40 will make it difficult for them to grip and use the window sill to climb into your home.

‘With lockdown restrictions set to come to an end at some point over the summer, we’d expect criminals to be on high alert for empty homes to target.

‘By giving the public the rare opportunity of inviting an ex-burglar into their homes to point out weaknesses, we hope to be able to continue to make Britons feel safe in their own homes.’

Former criminals will be paid a pro-rata salary of £40,000 for two or three days of consultancy work.

A job advert posted on Boundary’s website says: ‘We are looking for unique candidates to join the team on a consultation basis, with a role focused on assisting us with product testing alongside advice-led articles.

‘The individual we are looking to hire for the role will have previously been convicted of a domestic burglary, in order to help bring a unique level of insight to the table.

‘As our unique home security system is designed to outsmart criminals and stop burglars in their tracks, it makes sense for us to collaborate with someone who has the unparalleled experience and understanding of security that we’re looking for.

‘By making a burglary conviction a pre-requisite for the job, we can make sure we pick someone with the experience we need and the work ethic to put that to good use.’

The firm said the jobs would help reformed offenders get back on their feet, find paid work and generate experience to add to their CVs for future career opportunities.

It has teamed up with Unlock, a national advocacy charity for people with criminal records, to help find suitable candidates.

Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock, said: ‘People with criminal records are often assumed to be untrustworthy – yet here’s a job where the ability to spot the flaws in a system are essential.

‘Whether it’s advising on burglar alarms or providing customer service, excluding people because of their past convictions means missing out on skilled candidates and we encourage businesses of all shapes and sizes to look beyond someone’s past and look at the potential they can bring to the organisation.’

Pictured: Luke Harris, 32, spent 12 years looting before changing his ways and giving up the ghost six years ago. He is now putting his knowledge to good use in a bid to make amends

One of the former cons offering his services is Luke Harris, 32, who spent 12 years looting before changing his ways and giving up the ghost six years ago.

He is now putting his expertise to good use to make sure people’s homes are secure by heading up the Borrow-a-Burglar campaign.

Homeowners will get the chance to have a one-to-one consultation when Luke will assess how safe their home is from the perspective of someone who knows the ‘tricks of the trade’.

As well as consulting, Luke, from Warminster, Wilts., also tests security products to see how good they are.

Boundary was founded in 2018 and since then has received £1.5million investment from Skyscanner co-founder Gareth Williams.

Anyone can sign up for the service over on the Boundary website, and a select few will be chosen for the face-to-face consultation.

To sign up, head to

Successful entrants will be chosen at random by July 30 and notified about the one-on-one service visit by August 6.

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