This study examines how the environmental features of residential property influence the choice of intrusion routes in a burglary, based on the assumption that burglars mainly judge whether there are proper intrusion routes rather than assessing the entire house.
In order to collect reliable data, a virtual reality technique was used to simulate the choices of intrusion routes. Frequency analysis was conducted to examine the various features of intrusion route selection. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify factors influencing the choice of intrusion route. The findings indicated that the choice of intrusion routes of the site-boundary and the building was strongly affected by physical features related to the ease of penetration of possible intrusion routes. Moreover, participants tended to consider the risk of detection when comparing intrusion routes that do not function as normal entrances, such as the side-window and the 2nd-floor window. The findings of this study provide clues to examine more specific decision-making processes of burglars and suggest various advantages of virtual reality as an experimental tool, especially in the field of environmental psychology.