Finally safe from thieves? Ex-burglar reveals important tricks in TV documentary


“Sometimes when I’m lying in bed in the evening and it’s dark, I’m still scared,” reports Lotte. The girl was in the theater with her sister Marlene and mother Cornelia when burglars got access to the family home. The result: many valuables were gone, the home was devastated, and the feeling of queasiness remained. “It is only when something happens that you start thinking about what I do for burglary protection, rather than before you prevent these trauma,” confirms Siegfried Massat. The ex-burglar, of all people, gives tips in the WISO documentation “An ex-burglar unpacks – How to make your own home safe” (Monday, July 20, 7:25 pm, ZDF) how you can effectively protect your own four walls against unauthorized entry protects.

This advice seems to be urgently needed if you take a look at the statistics: more than 87,000 burglaries were committed in 2019, which caused a loss of 292 million euros. The trend is even towards more breaches of the law, with a relatively low clearance rate. “Many feel safe in their home, but they are not because they do not protect themselves enough,” confirms Massat, who after many years appears as a professional criminal and various prison stays in the film by Andreas Baum and is now working as a security consultant.

The time factor plays an important role, as Massat knows. If you make it as difficult as possible for the crooks to get into your own four walls, the burglar usually gives up after 10 to 15 minutes. A first important step towards a safe home is modern locking mechanisms, such as mushroom head locks on windows, which prevent them from being pried open quickly. In the documentation, Chief Criminal Investigator Markus Gebauer also recommends special locking cylinders for the door lock.

State funding possible

Burglary victim Alexander Ganz was no longer enough. After he was relieved by thieves by 50,000 euros, he upgraded his home with an expensive alarm system. The burglars came back anyway. Although they disappeared empty-handed the second time, Ganz has not only changed his daily routine since then, but also had an almost insurmountable steel door built into his bedroom. Because: “The Kripo has informed me that one can assume that they will come a third time and then use weapons to loot money.”

Robust safes and alarm systems cost, however, as security expert Martin Domres reports in the film. With a reasonable alarm system, you can expect to invest 3,000 euros. After all: The state-owned KfW bank subsidizes security measures, with the first 1,000 euros even 20 percent. But there is an alarm system, modern door locks – one should never be certain, as Siegfried Massat puts it: “What is done by human hands can be overcome by human hands. There is no absolute protection.”


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