You always think it will happen to someone else. That's why it can happen to you.
It Takes a Thief is a security-based makeover show on the Discovery Channel. It seems Discovery wanted to cash in on the makeover show category, but in traditional Discovery Channel fashion, the viewers learn along the way. Where TLC's Trading Spaces makes two rooms of your home look fabulous, It Takes a Thief makes your entire home more secure.
It Takes a Thief is hosted by John Douglas Rainey and Matt Johnston, both of whom were thieves before hanging up their crowbars to become working stiffs like the rest of us. Well, they were until they managed to turn their seedy former lives into a national television show, that is. It Takes a Thief is half Schadenfreude and half security pamphlet.
The show plays out like this. John and Matt drive their SUV around a neighborhood looking for an easy mark. Once an insecure enough home is found, one guy approaches the homeowners and asks if they'd like to participate. If the family agrees, cameras are installed in the house, and the family watches from a van on closed circuit television while one host breaks into the home. Nothing is actually stolen, but the damage is done. Often the homeowners can't stand to watch their home being ransacked.
After the break-in, John and Matt explain the gaping holes in the homeowners' security efforts. Many times the things pointed out are extremely simple concepts like "lock your windows" and "don't leave car keys in the car, even if it's stored in the garage." More often than not, deadbolt locks are installed on the exterior doors and a safe is given to the homeowners.
At a time unknown to the homeowners, John and Matt return and try to break in again. If they are successful, a stern lecture awaits the homeowners, but if the thieves' efforts are foiled, the homeowners are congratulated. Everybody wins with this show. The homeowners get free security gear, the audience gets to watch homes get broken into without feeling guilty, and we all learn about home security.