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It Takes a Thief&#8212Discovery Channel Series

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Tonight was the first episode of a new reality series on Discovery Channel, in which two ex-burglars arrange to break into the home of three bachelors (to show them how easy it is), and then revamp the house’s security to prevent future break-ins.

The first home targeted belongs to John, who inherited it from his parents. With a brother and sister (who live elsewhere), he also inherited lots of treasures, including an original Picasso and a sketch of John F. Kennedy that at one time hung in the White House. These treasures are stored in an unsecured crawl-space at the back of his bedroom closet.

His roommates, Anthony and Mark, have their own rooms in the house, and the three young men use the house as a commuter base (it is within commute distance of New York City) and a party pad. One former break-in artist, Matt, walks through the house with the three roommates and talks about their current security arrangements. He quickly finds they are non-existent. All three men are blasé about the prospects of being burglarized.

Once the burglar, John Ramey, breaks into their home (through an easily-jimmied door), they watch aghast as security cameras show the efficient trashing and gleaning process. John takes just over 10 minutes to remove everything of value from the house. At one point, he even calls out on John’s cell phone for backup.

After the burglary is complete, the young men go back into the house for a short cool-down. Then the Discovery crew begins clean-up while John-the-burglar confronts his “victims” before returning the stolen goods. The value of what he stole is astounding. One item that was barely noticed as John watched the burglar go through his belongs was the security key to his safe-deposit box. Along with the passport and business cards he also stole, John-the-burglar might have cleaned out John’s safe-deposit. Total take, possibly $450,000 to $500,000.

The amazing thing to me is, after some $3000 of security upgrades to the house, John-the-burglar returns with Matt to see if he can now break in. All of the upgraded door locks, window locks, etc. are good&#8212but John has left the front door (and the access doors to his bedroom and closet treasure storage room) unlocked.

To my way of thinking, this kind of makeover program is a lot more valuable than most. It’s worth the hour to catch it when it comes around again.

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  • Max Carson

    I love this show too! Now that I’ve been telling everybody about it, it’s off the air. I never thought to tape it. Would anybody here be interested in selling copies of the episodes they taped? Would be willing to pay a reasonable price for same. Please respond to granmax@verizon.net

  • laly

    omg hes so fucking hot

  • CODY


  • CODY


  • Jaclyn

    I love u JON RAINEY and MATT JOHNSTON!!! LOVE ur show and now I am obsessed with you guys!!!! If u guys get to read this post ur email addresses on the message boards!!! I REALLY want to write to u in person both of u guys!!!

  • brody

    can i request were they hit next?

  • Diana morgan

    Please tell me where to get the film to stop glass shattering. I am buying a 1650 sq ft Craftsman home with single pane windows. I also need the information about safe storm windows for added protection.

    I watch the show whenever I can. I have lost nearly everything of value in three break ins. I don’t want to lose what I now have. They have great information; I just wish I could find affordable products like they talk about for the people on tv.

  • Jim Manning

    I just washed a couple of utubes with these guys on Heraldo of Fox news. Dont they check if these guys are the real thing before they put them on the show? Heraldo depicted them as ex cons, hardened criminals who changed there ways. Man, you can even believe the news anymore. I’m going to see if I can selll Heraldo a 20 dollar rolex for 3k. Wanna bet he’ll take it?

  • ben

    plz come back on i’m bord with nothing to watch on thursdays.

  • Justin

    Allstate doesn’t have a corner on the “Don’t be a fool, lock your door” tips market. 99% of the stuff on the show is completely generic, and could have been sponsored by Master Lock or Sears without changing a single thing on the show.

    I do have to wonder whether the show will return for another season. I’ve looked around on the net and haven’t found anything definite either way. And if past attempts are any indication, we certainly can’t expect that Discovery will put out some realistically priced DVD’s for us (e.g., they sell most of material from Myth Busters at $20+ for a single episode… who’s their target market, Bill Gates stuck on an island with no cable?).

  • Frank Kirk

    First I want to say that I was on the audition for this Discovery Channels “It Takes a Thief” with the two guys that are on the show now. This is supposed to be a reality TV show. Well let me enlighten you all. These two guys are as phoney as 20.00 Rolex watches. I spoke with them at length during the taping. They both had no experience at burglary. Nor were they ever in prison. One was a private. directive that quit his job because he got beat up by a girl boyfriend. The other I don’t remember, but what I do remember them saying is that they both didn’t know how the hell they’ve gotten this far in the audition. I was hired by Discovery Channel and Lions and fired because I had an open case of a disorderly conduct and assault charge involving protecting my mom. They knew this, I proved it to them from transcripts. Discovery’s answer to that was. Lets higher these to and deceive the public, the audience never knows. I have proof, contracts, e-mails and everything. They even took my ideas that I used during the taping of the treatment. Am I upset? Hell yea. Discovery was looking for someone with prior arrests for burglary. Well it’s been over 15 yrs for me. Just so happens I had to protect my moms integrity. But what I’m saying is that Discovery Channel is making money from the public with their lies and deceptions in portraying these guys as something that they are really far from, BURGLARS. There’s more reality in watching to turtles fighting. Shame on you Discovery Channel for deception just because of money. Your show is as phoney as they are

  • Jason Paige

    is there anyway to recommend a place for the producers of the show to consider robbing?

  • Reggie — Pine Hill, NJ

    I know I am almost 2 years late, but as for the It Takes a Thief show on Discovery. Jon Rainey was from Berlin, NJ. He was a thief growing up and the bio on the Discovery Channel page was right when it said that he tried to steal Corvettes from the Miss America Pagent. I used to be friends with Jon and he did do all that was said he did. You are knocking someone who has straightened out their life and is making money on it!!

  • Mariam

    I LOVE DIS SHOW!!!! Itz mi fav. I jus love it. I can describe it in soo many wayz but it won’t all fit in her. So later!!!!!!!!!

  • Sarasota

    This show is simply fun, and I watch it for all the tech stuff. I have been the farthest thing from concerned about security… the key to my home has been either under the mat or in plain view, if we even locked the front door at all, for decades! This show does not evoke paranoia in me. It is interesting to learn what devices are available now, and too many children are now disappearing out of homes rather randomly these days, and many people are murdered in nice communities. As a responsible parent, I have implemented a few things, like the secured key box installed by the front door. This was such a relief to my friends, they were really concerned for me. Things are just things, and even a break in to my brand new truck where my navigation system was ripped from the dash in my driveway didn’t affect me. This show is a good source for determining appropriate tools to use as we come to a day where strange things happen, and good sense can prevent a lot of meaningless and cruel actions on the part of sick people. Sorry, but if anyone thinks simple safety is paranoia, read the paper. In my quiet, mostly crime free neighborhood, one mother of seven could be alive today if there was just some basic precautions like a deadbolt lock on the garage door. This show is very informative and fun… it presents this stuff in a very real, and slightly lighthearted way… Simple, straightfoward, and hysteria free… this show is great!

  • Right. I understand the idea of “better to be safe than sorry.” To be honest, them being actors really doesn’t concern me so much. That’s actually the smallest of my concerns. Personally, my biggest concern is the reason you are even seeing this show and spending any money on security and being worried about it in the first place. If it wasn’t for Allstate’s sponsoring of this show, you would never ever see the show and think about “their” security “tips” (as if it were THAT likely to happen to you). Let me put it this way, a lot of people are making a lot of money based on a natural human paranoia and them selling/acting out worst case scenarios. The biggest benefactor and only reason you’re thinking about any of this is because of Allstate’s Home Insurance division. Some think it’s great, some think it’s really kind of subversive. Based on how they handle the show with product placement etc, I think it’s extremely subversive also based on the HUGE amount of corporate benefits. All sales of Home Insurance that result from the show should be given to educational institutions to REALLY assist in security from pety robbery? Educating people how to make security systems for paranoid rich people perhaps? Next, Enron should sponsor a show on how an entire state can protect themselves from being robbed by “legitimate” American corporate businesses. Or, better yet, perhaps a show on how a whole city can secure themselves from a Hurricane so their belongings don’t float away when it fills with water? Sounds like two potential Nobel Peace Prize nominees, I hope Matt and Jon can be on those shows too.

  • Jeremy

    I really don’t care if Matt and Jon are actors. If they have no street credit, that makes the TV show more appealing IMO. The reason I say that is because if the people breaking in have no street credit and are simply actors, it would show people the cold hard truth. It would show people that a house lacking proper security is vulnerable to anybody, be it your hardened criminal or the thief who is trying it out for the first time.

    The show has a good message and the events that happen are realistic and could happen to anyone. If nothing else, the house gets a free home security makeover. Who cares if these guys are actors or if the events are staged? It has personally taught me a lot about keeping my residence more secure.

  • AND Look HERE. Surprise surprise. The reason this question came to me and why I accidently stumbled upon this blog, is because I’m a recent graduate from an “art school” here in L.A. and simple put, we deal with media and communication. I went to school for graphic design and had several classes in advertising concepts. Generally, people have no idea what’s they’re being fed and why unless they ask questions such as these. “Why are they telling me this?” There is nothing wrong with speculation. In this case, consider speculating about something other than your house. Cheers.

  • I saw the show for the first time today… a little late judging from the comments on here. I thought the show was fairly interesting but highly dramatic concerning THE DANGER OF BEING ROBBED. My parents have been robbed twice, the house was never ransacked AND the second time we did have an alarm but we bypassed an open window. First off, sure it’s a concern to make sure your house is locked but my question was, to who’s benefit was the production of this show? You can make television shows about anything but WHY about one who’s entire focus is to stage fake burglaries by first getting people to sign up to get burglarized. Yea, sure it makes you paranoid when you watch. With enough desire, any home can be robbed with or without security upgrades. My answer was finally answered when they had a brief “TIPS” bumper with the two main characters from the show and a representative fromβ€” ALLSTATE. HOME INSURANCE anyone? Perhaps still pay insurance while you also pay for an upgraded security system that you’ll probably never have to use, but if a thief ever happens to choose you, you’re set and so are we from ever having to pay for your claim… but we insurance companies are still banking off you anyways. Yaaay. Reading from the other comments on here, I’m now not surprised to find that these guys were also actors and never real burglers too. Funny… So that’s why he left the ladder sitting outside and leaning against the house?! VERY stealthy.

  • MariaNY

    first if all i have to say i love this show so much!!! and i saw matt on the street in new york a few weeks ago, i was having brunch with my mother one morning and you can bet we locked the doors beforew we left LMAO! he was really freindly and i told him how much i love the show- john and matt are so cute πŸ™‚ and its so good to help people learn how not to get broken into. i think its a great show i am glad its back on. matt was so polite and he was with some tall girl- model? lucky her he is a hottie, thats for sure. john and matt can break into my house any time πŸ™‚ anyway god bless love this show keep uo the good work discovery

  • brian vachek

    hey matt and john, i love watching your show. i watch it every day at 6:00. i love all the security upgrades and all the advise you give out.

  • tammy

    Did anyone see the episode where they made bookshelves but there was a closet or a room behind it? Do you know who makes those or where to find the hardware to make those?

  • #63

    The day It Takes a Theif got pusblished and first aired was on my birthday last year.

  • This show is great! Be aware of how society is today and how to protect your home and loved ones.

    I have dealt in the safes and security business for years and cannot agree more with this show on protection.

    One good thing for everyone is a fireproof safe to protect your most precious values. [Edited]

    Best regards,


  • michelle

    I discovered the show in feb.’06, and it was on Discovery channel @ 5pm eastern time. I am a loyal fan; but disturbed to see it is not been on since the end of May ’06. It was replaced with “Cash Cab” (also a fan). Anyone w/any knowledge as to when it w/be back on??? By the way…am also infatuated with Jon, love the bad boys! What chic doesn’t?

  • Jen

    After being in the security and safety industry for a while, I think this show is a true showing of not only what can happen but what DOES happen. I have seen it first hand many times! Security systems work IF they are set up correctly. This is why I love the episodes with people who have security systems and get broken into so easily. Two words: Cell backup! If you don;t have it, it’s like having a car with no engine… sure it looks like a car but when you realy need it, how far will it get you?

    Also the comment on #30 was spot on… it’s the people who should have bette rsecurity thqat usually don’t. Anyway, great show, keep it going. I think you will hel a lot more people protect their homes, families and belongings than you’ll give idiot criminals ideas to use to break in. Unfortunately they already know most of the tricks!
    One last thing… [Edited]

  • Click the URL to research how I know about Jon. Jon was a hard-working, low paid actor in the process of relocating to South Africa, when he got his big break with the present show. As for Matt, I don’t know as much about him. He does have a website and actually he is easier to get in touch with.
    I think the show is a pretty decent show. It ain’t perfect, but it beats most of what is out there these days!

  • Jon D. Rainey has more credits than just ITAT, in case you think he came out of thin air. He was in several indie productions, including “Protesters” and in TV he did “Sex and the City” – his performance involved being one of the scantily-clad patrons at a gay bar in NYC. There are several other films, in case anyone wants to know, just ask.
    Lots of my links at my site

    Yours truly,

  • kford

    does anyone know where matt is from in oklahoma i live in oklahoma small town and i know he talks about how small his town is.

  • amused channel surfer

    Why do they install those safes down on the floor so people have to crawl to use them. I doubt if people will use them on a regular basis, and will tire quickly of crawling on the floor to secure the family jewels every day. Nothing like a $200 closet sized gun safe from the local farm and sporting goods store. 4 feet high, two feet wide, a foot or more deep. No crawling around to use that, and it holds more than the little amount those floor mounted safes hold. Got the family history, photos, financial documents, home movies and videos, extra car and house keys, a couple guns, the 35mm cameras, video camera, and original computer software CD’s all tucked away in the gun safe. It’s bolted to the wall and not going anywhere. Might not be fully fire proof or fire hose proof, but it’s better than leaving it all sitting out in the open unprotected. I would bet it cost less than those little safes on the show. I just wish it came with a combination lock rather than a keyed lock. I got a little key box like real estate agents use, so that’s taken care of as well. $30 at the local builders store for the key lock box, so I’m up to about $250 with tax and all and have a bigger and more convenient safe than what they install on the flor of closets on the show. Installed most of my security stuff long before that show was on the air. Have a 3 channel video modulator and video cameras for the front and back doors, plus one for the out building. Just surf on the television and can see all that is happening around the house. It is mixed in with the cable tv system on the unused channels. Time lapse VCR was about $135 new on ebay with shipping. Can set it to record for days when I am out of town, and see all who stop by while I’m away from home. Got an older security system, nothing fancy, but it’ll scream when someone breaks in to the house. Have your basic common dead bolts and some nails in the windows, plus a motion sensor with the security system. Works for me, might not pass the shows fancy criteria, but will still slow down or stop most lowlife burglars. I find the show amusing. $1200 to see who is at the front door? My system cost about $50 per camera times 3, and $130 for the 3 channel modulator box, plus coax cable at pennies a foot.

  • Jo

    love the show i think matt and jon are cute

  • Jo

    i just love the show

  • Jo

    i just love the show

  • A New Fan in Wichita, Ks

    I was just wondering if anyone knew if, “It takes a Thief” was just in the New york area or are they in other areas also. If not, and Just in the Newyork Area, any plans on expanding to other states? perhaps Wichita, Kansas.

  • melissa

    I just bumped into this show on the May 12 episode and I’m hooked. Mostly I just watch it because Jon is such a hottie, but the whole idea is a great concept. My boyfriend doesn’t think it should cost $20,000 to put in a good security system though. He’s outfitting our apartment with security system stuff from this other place – X10?I checked out someone else’s link to the Optex page and they seem pricey. Here’s the X10 URL

  • Jon

    To Catch a Thief These are the real ones. We need these two here in the US. Please, no more phonies

    Richard Taylor and Michael Fraser have over 40 convictions for burglary & theft between them. Today, one of them is a church minister, the other a successful businessman. To Catch A Thief gives highly revealing tips about crime prevention through the eyes of two ‘experts’ uniquely qualified to provide fascinating insights into the workings of the criminal mind.

  • just a fan

    I love this show. It is a real eye opener. Oh, that Jon I could watch him all day.

  • ruth

    you know, jon doesnt actually break the home owners things. He uses some other object to replace the real one and smashes it. Like this one guy had some little Leprechaun figurine and jon breaks it. Latter jon amits that he didnt actually break it. Same goes for the one family with all them rare, antique vases from Ireland. Jon used some other glass and pretend that he broke the real one. Yes they were criminals but they supposedly claim that they changed their lives around.

  • astricjaster

    you know, if they were real criminals, how’d they get such a sweetjob?!?! i’m doubting they would let 2 known crooks to have a JOB with about 100,000 DOLLARS of equiptment following them around? really, if you think about it, they really missed some important facts, like how’d they pay for all these new awesome locks, sweet security glass(you know, the kind you can hit with a ammer 75,000,000,000 times and not shatter), and pay for all the stuff Jon’s broken.

  • DC

    In response to no. 28. remorse is missing when with Discoverys depiction. It’s all about the money… They could care less who they used at the point of casting. They had a job to fill. Didn’t matter who it was. But good for those actors. They deserve it. Discovery is the one not real. But it’s good TV.

  • Antonette Marie Patush

    I Luv Jon – Please come break into my house anytime – I live in Vegas (from Chicago) & you should find me & teach me a lesson
    Im serious… πŸ™‚

  • Lee

    Happened on to this show by accident and haven’t missed an episode yet. Also tape it. I absolutely love this and enjoy watching Matt and Jon do their thing, they compliment each other. Jon is hot and a bad boy while Matt is sweet and clean good looking so they’re a pleasure to watch. I like seeing all the security gizmos and hope this show goes on for a long time.

  • Karen

    Jon is so sexy. I would love to meet him and he is my age as well. To check criminal records , all one has to do is check public records in any state. You can write to state police and also there are public databases out there as well . All for a small fee.

  • Nancy

    After suffering two break-ins & burglaries at a previous residence, I realized the easiest way to prevent said burglaries is to not have anything worth their while to take – unless they think they can make a fortune peddling second-hand books, that is.

  • Tony

    They broke into my house. When they left they put in a $20,000 security system. They were all real nice. But within 3 min. of them breaking in a neighbor called the police and it’s a good thing that they had let the cops know in advance because otherwise they would have gotten busted. Speaking busted, my mom almost busted Jon in the mouth when she met him. Even though we knew they were breaking in. Mom didn’t know that Jon would mess up the house. I think if she wasn’t on camera she would have clocked jon. These guys were real pros at doing the security make over when the burglary was over. They crawled all over the house like ants and in 8 hours the alarm was in, the TV cameras, monitors, saves, and lots of other stuff I’m not supposed to mention was put in. They even cleaned the place from top to bottom. A few weeks after we left we caught someone at a party we had stealing stuff. The problem is now my mom can tell exactly what time I get in at night, who is with me and even who is hanging out with me outside. It is a great show.

  • Garr

    I’d like to see an episode where they get bagged during a break-in like a neighbor calling the cops or a secuity system that silently calls for help.

  • Joyce

    This is a fantastic show. Is it possible that he can come & secure our home?

  • Gator fan

    I LOVE this show. It’s the only thing I watch during the day any more. I will be so mad if the Discovery channel cancels it. Regardless of their pasts, they are both awesome guys and they deserve every bit of recognition that they get. Love ya Matt and Jon. Rock on Dudes.

  • Ash

    As a young single female who will be moving to my own home early next year, the tips offered have been very eye opening and helpful.
    I couldn’t care less if the guys were punks when they were younger, everyone deserves to redeem themselves.
    This show has helped my peace of mind and made me proactive about protecting myself.
    Good work.

  • Scott

    Regarding the CCTV system shown on the 10/27 It Takes a Thief… (Episode 17 – Good Cop, Bad Cop) it’s the Optex Wondertrack (WT-1500).

    You can go directly to the spec sheet for this device by using this URL: http://www.optexamerica.com/products/prodpage.cfm?product=wt1500

    …or access the Optex home page at: http://www.optexamerica.com/toc4.cfm

    I was able to replay the 10/27 show, freeze the picture, and go frame-by-frame forward until I could read the manufacturer and model number on the device. Hope this helps.

    If anyone from It Takes a Thief reads this: Please put this series out on DVD, and do a behind-the-scenes episode.

  • Chris

    One of the best shows out there. Keep up the good work Matt and Jon in keeping the public safe and aware.

  • Heather

    I totally agree with Brenda, 100%. I never miss this show and as long as it is on I never will

  • Brenda

    This reality show tops all others in my book. Full of suspense,action,humor,shock-appeal,and sexappeal. Past cons or not, Jon and Matt make it seem real and give the homeowners(and the audience)the reality check they need. AND it does not hurt that they are both “hot tamales!!” They can break into my house any time! Keep the cameras rolling.

  • Dunc

    I just discovered this show on Monday, when I was home from work. I’ve been taping it every day since, and plan to continue doing so. Like someone else said, the main appeal of the show (other than the two hosts who, valid street-cred or not, are highly spankable) is schadenfreude – I love the looks on the people’s faces as they watch their homes being trashed and all sense of security being thoroughly destroyed. The security tips are sound, and it didn’t even occur to me until tonight that I was basically just watching another home makeover show. Keep it up!

  • john

    they never give the name of security system, its wonder track, or wonder tracker? does anyone know

  • Perhaps you’re familiar with the phrase, “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot”? I thought of that as I watched the policeman see how easy it was to break into his house.

    One of the strongest messages of this series is how little thought we give to security for our possessions.

  • Roy Surratt

    I too watched the 10-27-05 episode with the policeman and his family getting embarrassed at how easy it was to break into his home. I want to know the name of the video security system shown and the name of the window coating used to make the glass harder.

  • Tim

    I just read the Q&A on the official web site for the show and you are correct. Matt and Jon make it clear they were not “big time” burglers like they portray in the show. They were pretty much a couple of punk kids. I’m okay with that but it makes me wonder where they get their info on technique etc.. It’s too bad the didn’t go with an actual reformed professional but since you seem to be the real thing, what’s your take on the info the show presents about how they case the neighborhood for the right house, how the break-ins are done, what they do inside etc.? Do they have reformed professional as consultants? Is the show credible in what it presents, inspite of the two actors doing the show? If not, what’s wrong about it? I’d like to hear what a real reformed professional thinks. Thanks.

  • Estelle Crowson

    I have worked for a number of years in the security business and I really enjoy seeing what goes on before I get to the customer. As I watched the show on 10-27-05 the one with the police officer who lived in the subburbs you showed a camera system that I would really like to introduce to my customers but I was unable to see the product name and not able to catch any information in the credits. If you could possibly let me know the manufactors name it would be great. What I have been doing since finding your show I advise future customers to watch your show and then we can talk about what they might need for their security and it has really been a great help. I wish your program a long run of sucess. Look forward to any information you can give me.
    Thanks, Estelle Crowson

  • Scott

    I really really like the series “It Takes a Thief”, and have been recording every new episode on my DVR. I downloaded the episode guide and use it to check off those episodes I’ve seen. Although I’ve always been very security concious (and have a few tricks this series doesn’t address), It Takes a Thief has prompted me to do more, and each episode makes me think about what else I can do. I would be disappointed to find out that the entire show was scripted. It is obvious that the walk-away or meal in the “victims” kitchen at the end is staged, as is possibly the initial contact with the “victims”. Like any 30 minute show, there has to be alot of editing. Using a snippet of the actual initial contact, or even a scripted first-contact, doesn’t seem that deceptive as long as the homeowner’s reactions are real. I would bet that the producers get involved, and that the Discovery Channel name is mentioned to boost their credibility. True that there is a lot of sameness – mostly residential in the NE U.S., but that doesn’t bother me since each situation has it’s own set of challenges. Some of the newer shows do shake things up (party crasher, frat house), so they are definately trying to keep the series fresh. I think they should branch out to other parts of the U.S. (SW, Pacific NW, California) where they might find different attitudes and practices regarding security (I don’t suggest LA). As far as the series being a primer for would-be burglars – although some teens may get pointers from the series (that’s if they even watch the Discovery Channel), generally I’d say that even amateur burglars already know the basics. Through the show I’ve been introduced to some nifty new security products (wish there was a product guide on the Discovery web site), but in one episode was disappointed at the choice of front door latch for a homeowner who kept loosing his keys (key finder system rather than a keyless entry system), which got me thinking that maybe sometimes their choices are based on products rather than the appropriate solution. The series doesn’t show everything that Jon and Matt do, the behind the scenes preparations (like how they hide a cameraman across the lawn from Jon and Matt in hiding behind a bush), every part of every house, all of the security devices added to the house, and as obvious in some episodes, all of the homeowner’s secrets. I haven’t read anything that proves that Jon and Matt aren’t really former theives (although the posting by David C. introduces that theory to my mind for the first time) – in any case, the show is very informative, and I try to get as many of my friends to watch as possible – all homeowners should watch at least one of thier episodes if not the series. Both Jon and Matt are pleasing to the eye, but, unlike several other posters, I’m not ready to invite them to hit my house (visit yes, film and trash no). It would be cool to meet them though, and the series producers may want to think about an hour-long (or 90 minute) “behind the scenes” episode showing us what really goes into talking the “mark” into playing victim, casing the house with film crew in tow, setting up the interior cameras, what happens to “the loot” between the get-away and it’s return, and more of the installation of “the fix”. I really want to get this series on DVD (maybe CD-ROM format to cut down the cost of producing and distributing) – as it is I am in the process of transferring from my DVR to VHS – less than satisfying, visually. Although it’s allowing me to see the new episodes faster, I was surprised to see that the series was moved from primetime to 5:00 pm weekdays (PDT), kind of a demotion of sorts for a really great show. I dread the day this series ends (hopefully no time soon), and like many hosts and characters in other series, I will miss Jon and Matt, who have become regular guests in my home – even they wouldn’t know me from a hole in the ground.

  • Actually, the series makes a big deal over the fact that Jon Ramey and Matt are former burglars and break-in artists “gone straight.” We’ve had people tell us here that Ramey is an actor (not under that name, he isn’t), and that he’s never been a thief for real.

    I say it’s possible that neither “host” was a burglar before the series, but they do a good job of faking it for the series. In many hints, we see the break-in-centric knowledge of Ramey or the scriptwriters.

    And frankly, I don’t care if Jon was a thief or if he’s just following the lead of someone else who was — either way, it’s a useful reality series that hasn’t gotten stale yet.

  • Well one can assume they are actors cause well they are on TV. Most productions are not going to try to get People with criminal histories as employees. The way they advertise the show is to say they are home intruders and theifs. The media also tries to conveince us that Harrision Ford is a secert agent. Or Arnold is a real politician (Just joking) This is TV folks. In fact they are home intruders because they do in fact intrude on your home live in front of you. The show concept is good and could be used as a how to book for kids that want to break into homes. But it will also inform homeowners how to protect their home. The fact is that most people do not protect their homes enough. I have increasd my security and awareness because of the show. Just because the Hosts are paid to appear does not mean the homeowners are paid to react. The fact is we are getting real reactions to their home being broken into. True the introduction to the homeowners are staged, and the meet the intruder is well planned and reactions are staged but I watch the show to see the homeowners reactions while in the van. (NOT STAGED) And to see the ways to improve security in my home as well. Oh and they did get caught by the police once. The actor was trying to explain that it was a TV Show and he handled himself well. The fact is anyone could be a theif with the right information. So defending yourself against the average person with skills is important. If you have noticed this guy lets an alarm system stop him. If he really wanted in he could still get in but just have less time.

    Joseph M. Boy,CPC
    Executive Director
    Your Computer Solutions Inc.
    Solutions for people like you

  • DC

    First I want to say that I was on the audition for this Discovery Channels “It Takes a Thief” with the two guys that are on the show now. This is supposed to be a reality TV show. Well let me enlighten you all. These two guys are as phoney as 20.00 Rolex watches. I spoke with them at length during the taping. They both had no experience at burglary. Nor were they ever in prison. One was a private. directive that quit his job because he got beat up by a girl boyfriend. The other I don’t remember, but what I do remember them saying is that they both didn’t know how the hell they’ve gotten this far in the audition. I was hired by Discovery Channel and Lions and fired because I had an open case of a disorderly conduct and assault charge involving protecting my mom. They knew this, I proved it to them from transcripts. Discovery’s answer to that was. Lets higher these to and deceive the public, the audience never knows. I have proof, contracts, e-mails and everything. They even took my ideas that I used during the taping of the treatment. Am I upset? Hell yea. Discovery was looking for someone with prior arrests for burglary. Well it’s been over 15 yrs for me. Just so happens I had to protect my moms integrity. But what I’m saying is that Discovery Channel is making money from the public with their lies and deceptions in portraying these guys as something that they are really far from, BURGLARS. There’s more reality in watching to turtles fighting. Shame on you Discovery Channel for deception just because of money. Your show is as phoney as they are…..

  • According to the IMDb, Jon Douglas Rainey has only one credit, for the Discovery Channel series.

  • Bud

    I think I saw the co-star Jon D. Rainey in a cool indie flick called Proteste or Protesters. He did that a few years ago. His acting is really good in that. I’m going to check out more of this TV show.

  • Tim

    I TIVO every episode of this program and each one has a unique aspect or two which has kept them all interesting. Simple things like a locking file cabinet and a safe for spare keys and credit cards and checks is easy to do. I think this show does a service by showing how easy it is to prevent the break-ins and secure your stuff. No dog has ever notified the police and even the meanest dogs are easily distracted with a handful of tasty snacks. Jon and Matt give the viewer an “insider” perspective on the professional house breaker. Like driving past an accident, you can’t help but watch!

  • Stacey

    I swear – I think Jon Rainey has got to be the hottest guy out there! His skill at what he does is amazing and I love watching how much he enjoys it. He can break into my house anytime he wants.

  • BebeBaby

    Jon Rainey is super sexy! I just watched “It Takes a Theif” and I had to go on-line to read up on him.
    JON, I’M 28, SINGLE (never been married/no kids) AND I’D LOVE TO MEET YA! What’d’ya say?

    When You Dream Big, You Live Large! -BP

  • Savy

    I personally love this show. It could be a how to guide but hopefully most people would have enough common sense not to do it. I think it’s great that they actually put a reality show on tv that is helpful and has an actual point to it.

  • Shurbert Hunphries

    Has anyone seen the new episodes? They are on at 5:00pm (East Coast) every weekday on Discovery Channel!

  • Cat

    I just have my eye on Jon Rainey. He can break into my house any time he wants.. hehe

  • I would say, rather, it celebrates people taking responsibility for their own security, by adding alarm systems, and using the locks and other security they already have.

    I know I addressed some security problems at my own house after seeing how easy it was for Jon Raimey to climb in a second-story window…

  • Kill It. “It Takes a Thief” celebrates breaking and entering, a How To guide. The ‘stars’ are felons having fun at owner’s expense. Cancel it please. The only thing that would make this interesting is if the stars ran into a booby trap or a rogue cop.

  • It’s very amusing to see the home-owners as they watch their dogs fawn on the burglar. This week’s episode even showed an untrained police dog decoyed outside with a plate of left-overs from the fridge.


    I believe a later episode shows that not all watchdogs are reliable, though they will deter a certain class of criminal. Discovery and its sister channel give me a better brand of reality TV in my opinion.

  • If that’s true, it may be why I keep getting the sense that confronting his “victims” is some kind of atonement Rainey has set for himself. It’s a very good job of acting he’s doing!

    BTW, the “meet the thieves” link on the Discovery program site states outright that Rainey “also dabbled in acting, appearing in Sex and the City and All My Children. It was while checking Web sites for acting work one day that he came across the call for It Takes a Thief; the rest is history.”

  • Serious Carr

    I think one of the hosts, John Douglas Rainey, has dabbled in acting a little more than his bio on the Discovery site states. He’s also appeared on an episode of TLC’s “A Dating Story,” and I think he made an appearance in a man-for-man telephone personals commercial. Crime doesn’t pay, dude, and neither do commercials!

  • I think that my company, Hidden Safes, Inc. would be a perfect match for the format of “It takes a thief”. We specialize in residential custom “Hidden” safes and secret saferooms. Does anyone know how to contact the right person at Discovery to pitch this idea?
    Thanks, Dan

  • Matt Johnston

    Thank you for your favorable comments on the show! I’m glad you liked it and hope you’ll keep watching. And, FYI, we have an artist’s studio, a playboy’s mansion and a gritty, tough-side-of-the-tracks neighborhood coming up soon.

  • The second episode in this series actually added some information – although same format, same burglar. The difference was, Mom was a lot more focused than Dad on locking up the place before they were burgled; and after their encounter with a break-in, they both kept the house locked up tight.

    It Takes a Thief will have to take on a different kind of dwelling to stay fresh. We’ve now had two upscale suburban houses broken into. Next maybe, a loft apartment in NYC?

    If not, look for the program to vanish sooner rather than later…

  • bhw, that’s why I think this program is not the usual reality-TV-waste-of-time. It has a lot to say about making our own homes safer, and addressing our own security habits.

    Born, I’m sorry to hear about your computer. I guess that’s why your blog has not been updated for a month, and you did not respond to my eMails. (I was worried…)

  • Just that my computer was stolen about a month ago when our house was broken into, and now I can only get on the web from a neighbor’s house. They have a big nasty dog, and they said the burglar might have wanted to break into their place instead, except their dog scared him off. So I just wondered.

  • bhw

    My husband watched this show last night and gave me the synopsis before heading off to work this morning. The punch line for us was that when he opened our front door, he found my keys still in the lock, from when I last entered the house last night.

    I’d say I leave my keys in the door about once a month. So my husband has now added “check the front door lock … on the outside” to his list of door/window checks before he comes to bed.

  • Nope, just standard hardware, locks and a safe, a motion sensor for the Picasso and the JFK sketch (plus mounting locks), and some thorny bougainvillea planted along a slanting fireplace wall that allowed too-easy access to the second-story.

    Why do you ask?

  • Did any of the security upgrades involve buying a watch dog?