So, what items offer the most interest to burglars during home robberies? What should you be looking to protect at your home? Australia has the seventh-highest rate in the world. An average of 4% of Australian households have been broken into, and over 70% of these cases have resulted in the homeowner’s belonging being stolen. 4% might sound deceptively low, but that equals over 400,000 houses. Knowing what a robber may target in your home can help you to better protect these items and safeguard your house in general.
Items Stolen During Burglaries
When you go to sleep at night, you should be able to rest your head easily. Nobody wants their home to be robbed. Your home is your safe place, where you go to relax and also, simply, where you keep all your stuff. That stuff is vital to your everyday enjoyment and often holds sentimental value – whether it be a gift, a family heirloom, or just something you love and look at every day. Unfortunately, the most valuable items to us are often the most beneficial to burglars as well, who steal things to make themselves a profit.
Cash is king. It continues to top the list of the most common items stolen in a robbery. While other belongings require additional work for the robber to resell on, you can reap the benefits of cash immediately. Credit and debit cards also fall under the category, especially with the tap-and-pay option that requires no pin for smaller purchases. Keeping minimal amounts of cash lying around and making sure you check your accounts every day for suspicious activity are the best ways to lower the chances of you falling victim.
When you’re considering items that are likely to be stolen during a robbery, your focus might be on what’s inside your home. However, you should consider that one of your most expensive belongings can be sitting out in the driveway in plain view for any criminals to see. According to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, there is a growing trend of robbers targeting the home to steal the owner’s car keys. They either drive off immediately if the owner isn’t home, or if they are, they will return at a later time to steal it then. Your keys going missing will likely go unnoticed at the time or be seen as a moment of scatterbrain-ness. Who hasn’t misplaced their car keys for a couple of hours? It’s a highly effective yet devastating tactic. This technique’s popularity is now so common that a car is stolen every 12 minutes in Australia. 70% of vehicles stolen are by using the owner’s keys.
Fortunately for robbers, and unfortunately for us, they no longer have to lug heavy TVs and stereos around. The majority of our expensive tech devices are lightweight, portable, and small, if not handheld. Cameras, laptops, phones, smart watches, video game consoles, and other gadgets are all easy to grab and run with. Our phones and computers are usually where we keep our email and bank account passwords (if they’re not set up to automatically log in when you load the website), so they run the additional risk of the burglar having access to your accounts. Protect your electronic devices by making sure they all are password or passcode protected and have a tracking system built-in, such as Find my iPhone.
The items so far discussed would all be devastating to lose, but they all are inanimate. The most horrendous thing to be stolen from your house is your living, breathing, beloved furry friend. In many homes, a cat or dog is considered to be a family member. Dogs are more likely to be stolen than cats. Purebred or ‘designer’ dogs run the most considerable risk, as they can be resold for thousands of dollars or even be forced to breed for further profits. Pets can also be stolen to ‘help find’ the dog later and returned to the owner for reward money. With the pandemic causing a rise in work-from-home, many families have adopted new animals without careful consideration of the responsibilities involved. The uptick in dog ownership has also caused an increase in dog theft.
Perhaps seen as the ‘classic’ item to be robbed – thank you, Hollywood films – jewellery is a massive target for burglars. Jewellery has a great resale value and is easy to steal and usually simple to find. Jewellery is one of the most common items with sentimental value, such as pieces that have been passed down through a family or gifts to commemorate important anniversaries and dates. This can mean replacing pieces often isn’t a viable solution, which makes the loss of this jewellery all the more devastating.
How do I keep these belongings safe?
You want to make it difficult for a burglar to find and take your valuables. It’s common for someone to chuck their keys and wallet in a basket or tabletop next to the front door when you come home from work but doing that makes it pretty simple for a burglar to take those items. The best way to keep valuables safe would be a secure safe, with a code only you and your immediate family know. Safes are made of steel and not exactly the easiest to lug around, so you don’t need to worry that the whole thing will be picked up and carried out.
If you don’t have the means to have a safe, hiding your items in unusual places is the second-best option to deter robbers from taking them. Instead of your front entranceway, go for an unusual kitchen draw, in a random coat pocket hanging in your wardrobe, in the laundry, or in any other uncommon places that will cost an intruder vital time to have to look around.
Having home and contents insurance is vital to recouping your money if the worst-case scenario of being robbed happens. Although some sentimental items are priceless, it would still be a silver lining to receive the funds to allow you to repurchase something similar. For certain things, like cars or jewellery, you can take out specific insurance.
What can I do to prevent my home from being robbed?
There is no 100% guarantee in preventing your home from being robbed. The best way to minimise this risk is to tighten the security setup of your home. Sensor lights, alarms or large gates are all great ways to do this. As well to measures to deter burglars from attempting to break-in, the best security features are ones that make it act more difficult for them to enter the home. Break-ins primarily happen through doors and windows, so upgrading your standard front door to a security door will be the best physical deterrent against robbers.
Jim’s Security Doors has the best range in Melbourne for whatever your household needs. Choose between sleek modern designs or heritage-style, cast aluminium grilles. They also have additional features you can add, such as a one-way privacy screen. Burglary trends show that potential intruders often try to scope out the house layout before breaking in, in which case it is crucial to protect your property’s privacy. Jim’s Security Doors also offers security screens for your windows and can even match the framing with your door. They provide free quotes and installation. When you weigh up the one-off cost of installing a security door compared to the thousands and thousands you could lose by having your house burgled, it’s an easy choice for your peace of mind.