Ex-burglar reveals how she used to stake out homes to target—and what you should to

@jenjen.gomez/TikTok Kovalevich28/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Here’s the checklist’: Ex-burglar reveals how she used to stake out homes to target—and what you should do

'I know this wasn't right'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Dec 3, 2023   Updated on Dec 3, 2023, 9:50 pm CST

In a viral TikTok, a woman who served 10 years in prison for burglary revealed how to protect your home from theft.

Despite her 10-year prison sentence, Jen Gomez (@jenjen.gomez) revealed that she didn’t rob big-name institutions and was instead a cat burglar. Gomez explained that when she’d go out to steal from homes, she had a checklist for scoping out if there would be steal-worthy items inside in preparation for her break-in. Here’s how she says you can protect your home from burglars.


The first thing she’d do was check the weather a few days before. If it was bright and sunny out, she’d go for more isolated places where houses were further apart. On those days people were often out and about, even if they were just walking in the area, pushing a stroller, or mowing the lawn. But on sunny days, people are more alert, so she preferred foggy, rainy days.

“In that type of weather condition, people are not only not outside, but they also aren’t going to chase you. They’re not gonna come outside just to be nosy cuz they think something looks weird and get all wet,” Gomez explained.

Plus, if they spot her, they won’t be 100% sure of what they saw. She added that law enforcement also doesn’t chase you in bad weather conditions because it’s dangerous.

Time of day

Second on the list was the time of day. Since most people work during the day or have to take their kids to school, Gomez knew most people would be out of the house between 8am to 11:30am and 1:30pm to 3pm.

Security measures

Next on her list was something some may find surprising. But Gomez preferred homes that had security cameras or security company signage because that likely meant they had items valuable enough to want to protect. She also knew that because there were so many false alarms related to home security systems, it was unlikely the police would show up. If police were called, Gomez knew she had 10-15 minutes total to complete her heist.

“And that for me was all I needed,” Gomez said.

Access point

To actually make it into the home Gomez needed there to be a window low enough for her to be able to use her tools to get in.


Gomez also preferred homes with pets in them because they were likely walking around freely in the home, which meant the alarm’s motion sensors would be turned off.

@jenjen.gomez PROTECT YOUR HOME AGAINST BURGLARY.. I used to be a burglar.. here’s the checklist I used to follow! #burglar #burglary #floridalife #floridaprison #prison #lowell #prisonshower #homes #homebreakin #protectyourhome #prisonstories #prisontiktok #prisonbreak #jailstories ♬ original sound – Jen Jen Gomez

A few other things Gomez mentioned were that she wore shoes of the wrong size in case she left a footprint, always wore her hair in a slick back bun, wore scrubs, and preferred areas where she could quickly leave the neighborhood.

“I was trying to get the big, big head honchos. The real, real upper class. The people that I just felt like—and I know this wasn’t right, but I justified in my messed up mind at the moment—they could replace what I was taking. They weren’t really in need of it, they had a lot of money, they had homeowner’s insurance,” Gomez said.

At the end of the video, Gomez clarified that she didn’t want to glorify her past crimes, and she feels immense remorse and regret.

“Hope this helps you all secure your homes better and keep your eyes open to ALL strangers,” Gomez said in the text overlay at the end.

The video has well over 1.7 million views and more than a thousand comments.

The Daily Dot reached out to Gomez for comment via email.

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*First Published: Dec 3, 2023, 6:30 pm CST