Burglars Know What They’re Looking For
Thieves work fast: the average burglary takes 8 - 10 minutes. That’s because they have a “wish list” of easy-to-sell items. If you understand what burglars steal, you can more easily protect your property:
- Cash: It’s untraceable and portable.
- Small electronics, like laptops, gaming systems, and tablets: These are harder to carry away without someone noticing, but they easily fit into a small, wheeled suitcase.
- Guns: They’re easy to sell and usually bring a good price.
- Jewelry: Easy to carry and sell/pawn.
- Personal identification: A burglar can only steal your jewelry once, but stealing your identity means he can keep coming back for more – without the risk of an in-person visit.
Liquor: Why visit the corner store when you can load up on booze at your neighbor’s house? If you have high-end tastes, take care to lock up valuable bottles. Most thieves don’t come looking for liquor, but they won’t turn down a free bottle either.
Medication: Many prescription drugs have a high street value. They’re also easy to carry.
And They Know Where to Find It
Most people keep valuables in their bedrooms, so burglars make that their first stop. The fancy jewelry box on the dresser is irresistible. They’ll be sure to check the closet looking for guns, cash, expensive clothing/shoes, or even a handy suitcase to store the loot. The master bath medicine cabinet is also a must-visit location.
Kids’ bedrooms are often stocked with electronic games, computers, tablets, and other sought-after items. They’re always worth a visit! Then there’s the family living room, home office, or study. Those are great places to find a home safe, personal financial information, and more electronics.
If there’s time, the burglar may detour through the basement or garage on the way out. Power tools and other small items are anonymous and easy to pawn.
Take a walk through your house and try to look at it with “new eyes.” That pile of unopened mail on the kitchen counter may have bank and credit card statements. The jewelry box in the bedroom might as well have a “Steal Me!” sign above it. Same with the unlocked gun case or the line of prescription bottles in the bathroom or kitchen.
Now that you know what burglars steal and where they look, you can make their work more difficult. If you haven’t installed a security system yet, take steps to thwart thieves.
- Keep personal information in a locked filing cabinet.
- Keep electronic tax and financial records saved on DVDs or portable drives – not on your computer. Lock them away.
- Don’t store valuables in obvious places, like jewelry boxes. Get creative.
- Better yet, get home safe. Bolt it down so the thief can’t just carry it away.
- Keep firearms locked up in a gun safe or personal safe. This is an important safety precaution too, particularly if you have children in the house.
Over 80 % of would-be burglars told UNC Charlotte researchers in 2019 that they could leave immediately if they detected an alarm system in place. Sixty percent said they would look for an easier target if the home or business had a security system. Very determined burglars sometimes try to disable alarm systems by smashing the wall panel.
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