grand theft auto: san andreas burglary guide - burglar gta gtasa

SPOILER! Totally unfair but completely cheat-free
SPEED BURGLARY GUIDE for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas!

UPDATE: 15 Mar 2010 Confirmed that my speed burglary strategy works with the Xbox Originals version on the Xbox 360.
UPDATE: 09 Oct 2006
Corrected bad information on attacking people in the house.
UPDATE: 12 Aug 2005
Reorganized the page, added some minor info.
UPDATE: 20 Nov 2004
Additional locations of black Boxvilles have been added.

Interested in making $10,000 or $20,000 in 15 minutes? If so, prepare to burgle! My method exploits several features of the burglary system in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but does not involve cheats of any kind. And if you do it right, you'll never even see a single police star. Interested? Read this burglary guide. But be warned... it might take some of the fun out of the game to get money so easily.

I call this a SPOILER not because it gives away any significant plot points, but because being able to get such a large infusion of cash so early in the game may sort of ruin the fun of the game. When 15 minutes of burglary can net you more money than you've earned after many hours of play, it can feel really cheap. So if you don't want the use of this exploit to be on your conscience, don't read any further.


A lot of bad information regarding burglary in GTA:SA showed up on the Web shortly after (and some, I suspect, even before) the game was released. Here are some myths that simply aren't true.
Myth: "You need to buy a ski mask." Truth: You don't need to buy a ski mask or a balaclava or anything at all. When you start a Burglary mission by pressing R3 while in a black Boxville, a ski mask automatically appears on CJ.
Myth: "A big TV is worth more than a small one." Truth: No item is worth more than any other. Other than cash and weapons laying about (which you can pick up and use immediately), every item is worth the same amount. The formula that determines how much cash your items are worth only uses the number of items.
Myth: "You need to ___ before you can do Burglary." Truth: At the start of a new game, CJ can go directly to the black Boxville and, as soon as 20:00 rolls around, start a Burglary mission.
Myth: "You can paint any Boxville black and use it." Truth: You can't. The Pay 'n' Spray will paint Boxvilles, but any non-black Boxville will stay non-black, no matter how much you respray it. (Black Boxvilles will stay black when you use the Pay 'n' Spray.) None of the mod shops take Boxvilles, either.


These instructions are PlayStation2-specific. Other versions may require different buttons to be pressed. This strategy also works with the Xbox Originals version which you can download on the Xbox 360. It has not been confirmed on any other consoles or on the PC version.

You can start R3 Burglary missions immediately from the beginning of the game. Optionally, you may wait until you've developed your Muscle and Stamina a bit; it seems to make sprinting while carrying a TV a bit easier/faster. Be sure CJ is healthy and well-fed, as he'll be working for 10 hours of game time.

You must have a black Boxville to select the R3 Burglary mission. There is one black Boxville in each of the three cities (Los Santos, San Fierro, Las Venturas). There are other Boxvilles in the game, including spawn points for them in Blueberry and Montgomery, but only black Boxvilles let you select the Burglary mission, and you can't paint a non-black Boxville black.
Los Santos: The gym in Ganton is located a couple of blocks west of CJ's house. The first black Boxville you'll be able to access is located to the south of that gym, across the street, next to a turquoise-colored building.
San Fierro: There is a black Boxville just off the street north of the center of the driving school lot, by the R in DOHERTY on the map that came with the game; it's right next to the drop-off point for San Fierro.
Las Venturas: There is a black Boxville in Pilgrim in Las Venturas, in the block containing the S in VENTURAS on the map that came with the game, that can be used; it's right next to the drop-off point for Las Venturas.

Burglary missions can only be started between 20:00 and 6:00. To maximize the amount of time you can burgle, drive the black Boxville to the spot you want to burgle before 20:00, then start at 20:00. Start the Burglary mission by pressing R3 (press the right analog stick in until it clicks).

Look for a house with a yellow marker (triangle/arrow) in front of its door. This is a house you can burgle. Enter the marker to enter the house. Once inside the house, you must sneak -- walk slowly by pressing the left analog stick just enough to make CJ move. Running in the house causes the noise meter to fill up, as does quickly opening doors and running into walls.

If the noise meter gets close to full, any inhabitants in the house may wake up and investigate the disturbance; if it gets full, they will call the cops. If the noise meter is replaced by a "Cops" countdown timer, you have 10 seconds to get out of the house. If you fail to do so, you will have a three-star wanted rating.

If you can take out all residents of the house with head shots from a silenced pistol before they can react, the noise meter will disappear, and the cop countdown will also disappear. Using a loud gun or a melee weapon doesn't seem to work.

If you see cash, grab it by walking through it. It will be added to your cash total immediately. If you see weapons, you can grab them just by touching them (and pressing L1 if you already have a different weapon of the same class). Cash and weapons do not count toward your total number of items stolen.

Items that can be stolen include TVs, VCRs, game consoles, fax machines, stereos, etc. Furniture cannot be stolen. To pick up an item, press the triangle button (/\) while standing next to the item. Then return to the front door to exit the house. To drop off an item in the Boxville, walk up to the back of the Boxville and press the triangle button again. (You can even drop off items through the very back part of the side of the van.)

Repeat this process, either with the same house or another house. When daylight is about to run out, enter the Boxville and drive it to the lockup (shown with a blip on your map and radar). You must return to the lockup before 11:00.


This method may not be quite as fun as the sneaking method, but it will yield more money from a single burglary session. I would recommend that you try a few burglary missions the normal way, so you can learn how to do them and enjoy them the way they were meant to be done, before you use the exploits detailed below.

Features to be exploited: (A) The formula for how much you earn is based solely on the number of items you steal. (B) Burglaries can be committed between 20:00 and 6:00. (C) Once you enter a house, the contents of all other houses you've burgled are reset. (D) Once you've alerted the resident(s) of the house, you have only 10 seconds before they call the police (yielding a 3-star rating, which is almost impossible to deal with in a Boxville).

Preparations: Pick a neighborhood to burgle. My favorite is the dead-end street between Playa del Seville and Willow Field. It's directly above the car modification icon on the big map that comes with the game, and it's the street where the first car modification garage you'll encounter is. I like this street because it's very close to the drop-off point and there doesn't seem to be much enemy gang activity there. (In San Fierro, try the Ocean Flats neighborhood in the southwest portion of the city.) Get your black Boxville to the area before 20:00. Press the right analog stick (R3) after the clock turns to 20:00, and park in close proximity to as many yellow arrows as you can -- at least two.

Procedure: First order of business: find two burglarizable houses close to each other. (On my $19,220 run, one of my original houses had an occupant who was awake, so I quickly moved the van to access two houses across the street from each other.) If you walk into a house and there's anyone sitting or standing in the first room, LEAVE and don't go back. The occupants don't seem to change, even if you enter another house before you visit again.

Next, master the art of the speed burgle. Even a klutz like me can pull this off. Once you've made enough noise to alert the occupant(s), you have only 10 seconds to get the heck out of there. Fortunately, even if you run to the TV, pick it up and run out again, it shouldn't take more than 6 or 7 seconds. If you cannot pull this off consistently, practice until you can. Run to the TV (or other burglable item), grab it (with the triangle button), and run back to the yellow arrow where you came in. Don't worry about making noise; your focus should be on speed and accuracy.

Steal the TV (or other burglable item) from the first house and get out. (Every burglable house on the Playa del Seville street has a TV in the front room. In one style of house, it's in a dark corner which you face when you enter, along with a fax machine and possibly a stereo.) Sprint to the back end of the truck and drop off the item (again, with the triangle button.) When you hear the sound confirming the drop, sprint to the second house. Steal the TV, get out, and sprint back to the truck. Repeat this process over and over!

When you have 30 minutes or less of daylight left, stop and get into the truck. (Don't try to cut it much closer. You never know when you might be hit by a crazy driver or have someone attack you for no good reason.) Now calmly and carefully drive to the drop-off point, as shown on the radar map. Even if daylight hits, you'll still have five hours (of in-game clock time) to get to the drop-off point. Pull into the garage and reap the rewards.

How I discovered it: In my first burglary attempt, I managed to steal two items and got $80 for them. On my second attempt, I stole five items and got $500. I bungled my third attempt and got wasted by the cops. On my fourth try, I stole seven items and got $980. I'm an old-school math geek, and I noticed that number was divisible by seven -- the seven items I had stolen. I pondered a bit, but couldn't quite make the connection. In my successful attempts, I had gotten $40, $100, and $140 an item. I was wondering if repeated burglaries led to finding items of higher value.

On my fifth attempt, the 13 items I stole netted me a surprising $3,380. I knew that was over $200 an item... and when I went to figure it out, it came out to $260 an item. That's when I discovered the formula for how much burglaries are worth. The formula is: M=20NČ, where N is the number of items stolen and M is the resulting money earned. In other words, it didn't matter whether you stole a crappy fax machine or a nice TV... it was sheer quantity. After a bit more practice, I had sessions that netted $9,680 (22 items) and $19,220 (31 items). More recently, I managed 36 items for $25,920, and I know I could do even better with perfect planning. The Xbox Originals version on the Xbox 360 seems to go even faster, and on my first attempt, I scored 41 items for $33,620.

Notes: Don't bother trying to steal from a house with occupants who are awake and sitting/standing in the first room. The 10-second timer will start immediately, and if you blow it just once, you're likely to end up busted or wasted. Remember, if you get the cops after you (with an automatic three stars), you've just wasted up to 15 minutes (of real time) -- 10 minutes for the 10 hours of game time and another 5 for load times. However, if you have no wanted level, don't fuss about cops that happen to see you. After all, you're just a skiing enthusiast who's moving out of your house in the middle of the night, right? Right? ^_^

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