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A burglar

The burglar is an NPC in The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 who will sneak onto a lot when all Sims are sleeping, most often during the night, and attempt to steal items from the household. The burglar in The Sims was male, and known only as "Some Sneaky Sim." In The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, burglars can be either male or female. Burglars can steal possessions of any size, and will often steal the most valuable items on the lot. Burglars can be arrested by the police if they are summoned quickly enough - the only way to ensure that the police are called in time is to install burglar alarms. If the lot doesn't have an alarm, Sims can call the police, but they rarely arrive in time to stop the burglar from escaping with the Sim's possessions. In all games, it is impossible to enter build mode or buy mode after a burglar enters the lot without cheats.

The SimsEdit


In The Sims, burglaries are fairly rare and will most likely appear if the selected family is wealthy and/or has expensive objects in their home. The burglar will usually appear at around 3:00 AM, and his arrival will be announced by a few bars of intentionally frightening music. The burglar cannot be interacted with in any way, except by the police, and was specifically designed to rob houses while the entire household is asleep. If the player tries to wake up a Sim while there is a burglar, it is unlikely that the Sim will wake up, get to a phone, and call the police in time to catch him. Even if the player does this as soon as the burglar appears, it is not certain that the Sim will be able to call the police in time. This is most likely because the game has programmed burglars to only appear when a Sim is asleep. This can further be proven during rare occasions when a Sim is awake while one arrives on the lot; they cannot directly stop the burglar as there are no available interactions and they will not react to one at all.

Burglars will steal the closest and most expensive objects they can find. Installing a burglar alarm in the home will not prevent a burglar from entering the lot, however if one happens to do so, the police will arrive and take him away. The police officer will thank the family and will give them a small amount of money for assisting the law. Despite this, the burglar may have already taken one or two items by the time the police officer approaches him. These items will be kept as evidence, and not returned, but the family will be reimbursed for them. Sometimes, a family will be reimbursed for an item that the burglar did not manage to steal.

The Sims 2Edit

Ts2 burglar

A burglar in The Sims 2.

In The Sims 2, a burglar who enters a lot will "case" the house and lot, looking for the most expensive items. A burglar can steal aspiration reward objects, and will consider the number of aspiration reward points needed to buy the reward as its value. Their arrival is announced by a "stealthy" tune.

If the burglar trips an alarm, this may give the police time to respond before the burglar can steal anything. Unlike The Sims, Sims will panic when they witness a burglar entering a lot. They can use a phone to call the police, but cannot interact with the burglar. Even if the burglar is captured before taking anything, all Sims on the lot will also receive the "Burglar!" memory, unless they have received it previously.

Some Sims, particularly Fortune Sims, often have "getting something stolen" as a fear. If someone in the household encounters the Burglar, they will often react with fright. When the police arrive, the officer will attempt to apprehend the burglar by fighting them; if successful, the burglar will surrender, but if the officer is defeated, the burglar will escape. If the police officer and the burglar cannot get into a position that allows them to fight, the burglar will flee with their loot. Depending on how long it takes for the officer to reach the burglar, the burglar may have time to steal an object after the police cruiser arrives.

With The Sims 2: Open for Business, Sims with a Silver or Gold Robotics Badge can use the Robot Crafting Station to craft SentryBots, which are designed to patrol a house and shock any burglars that may enter with an electric current, causing them to run off the lot until the police can arrive.

Something that is useful to have in mind is that, on rare occasions, the player can immediately go to buy mode or build mode if the burglar has just entered the lot and the game has not picked up on it. This can be very helpful if it can be managed, but it is not something that should be counted on. In most cases, there will be a short pause right before the burglar arrives. This can also help determine when the burglar is about to arrive.

NPC burglars may appear on community lots, and in The Sims 2: Open for Business, may visit an owned business. While they will likely be dressed as burglars, they may be there to shop, not steal.

In college sub-neighborhoods, burglars may appear in residential lots or Greek houses.

For around 24 game hours after a burglary attempt, Sims may interrupt what they are doing to sigh, or even cry, about it. This can happen even if the burglar was captured and nothing was stolen. If this autonomous reaction is pushed on a sleeping Sim with a full Energy bar, the Sim will wake up.


  • If a house has a back door, a burglar may enter through it.
  • A car with an alarm installed can serve as an outdoor alarm. It will go off if a burglar comes within 6 or 7 tiles of the car. Since a car will often be one of the more expensive objects on a lot, a burglar may come within range of the alarm as they "case" the lot. If a car alarm goes off before the burglar has entered the house, it will not wake Sims sleeping in the house, and any alarms in the house will not sound, even if the burglar enters the house before being stopped by the police.
  • Beginning with The Sims 2: Nightlife, after a burglar has entered the lot, the burglar will appear in the Relationships panel for all Sims in the family. They will all be furious with the burglar, though they will not become enemies immediately. As with other Sims in the Relationships panel, it is possible to call the burglar on the phone and raise the relationship.
  • A SentryBot will shock a burglar. However, if this happens after the burglar has stolen something, it will still be necessary to call the police.
  • Werewolves can fight the burglar like a cop. They will always win.
  • Bigfoot will immediately scare the burglar away. If the burglar's bladder level is low, he/she will experience bladder failure.
  • The butler will immediately call the police whenever a burglar is seen.
  • The range of a burglar alarm in The Sims 2 is one "room", and the alarm may not be placed outdoors. An alarm may be moved outside by constructing a small room surrounded by walls, placing the alarm inside it, and then demolishing all its walls except the one that the alarm is attached to, or by using the moveobjects cheat. The alarm will then cover the entire outdoor area, only limited by outdoor fences.

Pre-made burglars in The Sims 2Edit

They are also the burglars in custom neighborhoods.
Riverblossom Hills
Desiderata Valley
Belladonna Cove

Pre-made burglars in The Sims Life StoriesEdit

Four Corners
Free Play

The Sims 3Edit


A The Sims 3 Burglar


An arrested burglar in The Sims 3.

In The Sims 3, burglars can be interacted with while on the job, which was not possible in previous games, though the options are very limited. Sims now have the power to stop them if they have the Brave or Daredevil traits, which gives them the option to "Fight" against the burglar. Winning against the burglar will make them leave but items that have already been stolen will not be returned. Also, a pet with the aggressive trait can chase the burglar away. If the police were called, they may reward the Sim with some money for helping them catch the burglar. Their arrival is announced with a spooky tune.

Like The Sims 2, if the police were called, the officer and the burglar will fight. If the officer wins, the burglar will be arrested; otherwise the burglar will run off with their loot. Burglars will flee empty-handed if they are forced to fight the before they steal any item on the lot. Even if they win the fight, they will still flee, leaving possessions untouched.

Playable Sims can also become burglars if they choose to become a thief through the Criminal career track, though this does not allow them to rob other houses. However, it is possible for any Sim, regardless of career track, to steal items if they have the Kleptomaniac trait. That trait allows a Sim to take 3 items from a residential or community lot that he/she is visiting at night.

It is also possible to befriend burglars and turn them into playable Sims by becoming acquainted with them. One possible way to do this is for a Sim to help them escape after being handcuffed by the police. Usually after making an arrest, police will tell the burglar to wait outside the police car while they check around the house. During this time, an option called "Set Free" will be available if the burglar is clicked on. Another way is through the "Fight" interaction also available to Sims with the Brave or Daredevil traits. Afterwards, the burglar will become acquainted with the Sim allowing the player to call the burglar to have a chat or invite over to their house during the day when they are not working as burglars. They can then ask them to move or marry into the household once they have built enough relationship points. Burglars who have become playable Sims possess a hidden trait called 'Burglar' which gives them the special interaction to 'Sneak' when moving. Children who are descended from Burglars can inherit this trait.

There are many ways to counter a burglar in The Sims 3:

Player notesEdit

  • Using the alwaysAllowBuildBuy on cheat will allow players to enter the Build / Buy Modes when a burglar is on the lot.
  • Home owners can set the burglar free while the police are inspecting the house. Afterward, the cop will give the Sim a stern warning to not set burglars free.
  • There is a hidden trait called Burglar. This gives Sims access to the 'Sneak' interaction.
  • Burglars will freak out when the alarm goes off.
  • Having a Sim with Good or Coward trait makes Can Apprehend Burglar hidden trait and Brave trait useless, as they will refuse to fight.
  • Houses that are very large, luxurious, and have expensive goods are more likely to be robbed.
  • Scary music will play when a burglar appears on a home lot, alerting the player.
  • Burglars can appear when no Sims are home, but it is very rare.
  • Burglars may enter through a back door, if there is one.
  • Locking doors will not prevent burglars from entering.
  • Burglars can also rob vacation houses.[TS3:WA]
  • Burglars will immediately retreat at the sight of a mummy.[TS3:WA]
  • Telling a pet to "Guard the House" increases the chance of a burglar appearing by 10% for every 45 minutes.[TS3:P]

See alsoEdit

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