Although most home burglaries are opportunistic, they’re never random. Reports suggest that most home burglaries take less than 10 minutes, which indicates that they want to enter and leave your home as fast as possible. As such, their focus is on getting away with valuable items that are easy to carry and sell to make the risk and effort of breaking in worthwhile.
Before criminals identify your home as a potential target, they do their homework to determine the risk and chances of a successful burglary. They assess how well you protect your valuables using things like a security alarm system, good lighting, security system labels, and so on before striking. These are important deterrents to prevent burglars from targeting your home. If valuables are left exposed, criminals are more likely to plan and prepare themselves to target your home.
It’s important to take measures to keep your most valuable possessions safe by hiding them carefully. This will not only reduce the risk of tempting potential burglars to break into your home but also their chances of finding valuable items before they need to escape.
Here are some of the commonly targeted items by burglars that you should focus on keeping safe:
Most researchers who have spoken with randomly-selected incarcerated burglars in an attempt to identify trends in their targets have found that a vast majority of those interviewed claim to take cash from the residences they break into. In one such study conducted in three states in the USA, researchers found that 90 percent of the incarcerated burglars took cash during burglaries, while 79 percent chose their targets with acquiring cash as their primary goal.
Considering that most stolen items will ultimately be sold off for quick cash, any easily accessible cash that eliminates the need for carrying items and then pawning and reselling them is a great incentive for most burglars. Keep in mind that many burglars seek quick cash to simply purchase drugs or fulfil some other short-term need. So not exposing your cash, wallet, or handbag can help reduce the chances of a burglar targeting your home.
Jewelry is another common target for burglars because of its high value, portability and high market demand. Stolen jewelry is easy to conceal and get away with it, and even easier to pawn or re-sell without much of a hassle. In fact, researchers have found that as many as 68 percent of burglars admit to aiming for jewelry when targeting a home, yet 78 percent ended up stealing jewelry. This implies that even if you hide your cash well inside your home but leave your jewelry exposed, then these high-value items are likely to still attract burglars as the next best items to steal.
Both prescription and illegal drugs can make you a target of burglaries. In fact, researchers found that 66 percent of burglars have stolen either pharmaceutical or illicit drugs from a residence. Considering that many burglaries involve the need for quick cash to acquire drugs, any involvement with drugs makes you a target. Since 70% of adults use one or more prescription drugs, many homes can be vulnerable to crime with burglars ransacking their medicine cabinets in search of antidepressants, opioids and similar drugs, in addition to stealing other items.
Every household has a bunch of high-value electronics that can be targeted by burglars if your home is not well protected. Researchers claim that nearly 64 percent of burglars have stolen electronics from a residence. While they may not necessarily be easy to carry or sell-off, electronic items are still attractive to burglars and they can get away with a handful of them during a burglary if there’s nothing or no one to stop them.
If you have a passion for artwork and collectables such as antiques and sculptures, then losing these items can result in more loss than just their monetary value, especially if you’ve collected them over a long period of time. While burglars won’t take your family photos, they will carry anything that gives the impression of an original piece in the hopes of quickly reselling them. You can increase the likelihood of recovering your stolen items by keeping pictures of your artwork and collectibles.
If burglars have enough time to look through your house, they may extend their search for valuables to your closet and start choosing among your best clothes, shoes, handbags, eyewear, wallets and other accessories for items that can fetch a good price. Research shows that one in every five burglars report taking clothes and/or accessories from a residence. The fact that burglars can get away with some of your expensive clothes and shoes, in addition to any money, jewelry and electronics emphasizes the need for better home security measures to, at least, minimize your losses.
Although most burglars are looking for some quick cash, some are savvy enough to steal personal information from credit card bills, old tax returns and bank statements to get your account information and social security number in order to try opening new lines of credit or hijacking your bank account. Given that burglaries can be chaotic with documents and belongings strewn everywhere, usually as a distraction to make it harder to identify what’s been stolen, you should consider renting a safety deposit box at your local bank for your sensitive documents, or at least keep them in a safe at home and shred any old documents.
Taking the right measures to protect your home, including locking your car in a secure garage, installing sufficient curtains or blinds to limit the line of sight into your home, storing valuables in a safe, providing adequate exterior lighting at night and installing a security alarm system reduces the likelihood of a break-in. Besides deterrence, your home alarm system will be triggered in the event of a break-in, causing the burglars to rush and reduce your losses.
If potential thieves consider your home as almost impenetrable, requiring much effort to enter and leave with any valuables, they will likely leave it and look for an easier target. In fact, research shows that about 60 percent of burglars tend to avoid residences with an alarm system.
For more information about setting up a high quality home security system to prevent burglaries, call Canadian Security Professionals at +1 877-494-9911 or contact us here.