Ethnomethodologists in the field of offender-based research have recently criticised the earlier use of prison-based samples in research on residential burglary. They claim that interviewing burglars in their natural environment has produced findings of greater validity and reliability. By describing further analysis of data from earlier experimental research on burglars in prison, and drawing on findings from other work on residential burglary, this article sets out to highlight the striking similarity between findings from interview, experimental and ethnographic studies in this area. Far from discounting earlier experimental and interview studies, the recent ethnographic works have served to build on and complement earlier work. The value of using a variety of methods in offender-based research is then discussed.