Many homeowners pay extra attention to home security once the snow begins to fall. This is a smart approach to take considering how often families carry big boxes, typically leftovers from holiday gift giving, in and out of their homes before and after December. If criminals can spot evidence of recently purchased gifts, then you should assume that your home may be a target for breaking and entering. The easiest way to prevent these burglaries is by thinking like a criminal, anticipating which valuables in your home are least likely to tempt a break-in and plan your home defenses accordingly. By taking a look at the items that burglars target most often, you’ll have extra context for how to make your home less appealing to thieves.
Portable takes priority
This may seem obvious, but ideal items for a burglar to steal are worth a lot of money and easy to put in a pocket. That’s why cash is a top target for thieves, according to the American Grandparents Association. In fact, the Department of Justice noted that over a $1.1 billion in cash was stolen from American homes in 2012 alone. Less than 3 percent of these funds were recovered, precisely for the same reasons that burglars prefer to steal cash over any other item in the home: currency notes are extremely light, near impossible to trace and can traded immediately for goods and services.
Like cash, jewelry is small and highly valuable – homeowners saw $1.8 billion in jewelry disappear from their homes in 2012, according to the DOJ. Unlike dollar bills, making a profit from jewelry theft requires criminals to go through the extra steps of finding a pawn shop or locating a fence to move the merchandise. Firearms are also easy to lift from a household and conceal upon escape, and demand for stolen guns on the black market is typically high. Regardless of the logistical differences, these items make up a broad section of the valuables of interest to criminals for their weight and high potential for resale.
Electronics earn looks from burglars
While not as easy to pocket as a pair of diamond earrings or a wad of cash, electronics are highly sought after by thieves. Between office equipment and personal entertainment devices, the Department of Justice reports that over $1.5 billion in electronic were stolen from American homes in 2012. It’s easy for burglars to find tablets, game consoles, stereos and big screens in the home – consumers typically show off their best electronics in the living room and kitchen.
With more people working from home and a greater number of financial transactions being performed online, smart burglars know that the information hidden inside laptops and computers is often more valuable than the hardware itself. If homeowners suffer a robbery that includes their personal computer, then they might suffer additional damages caused by identity theft down the road.
Unexpected items targeted for theft
Most homeowners could probably guess that burglars have a preference for jewels and pricey electronics, even if they were unaware of the specific reasons that criminals target these items. There are many commonly stolen belongings that would surprise even most paranoid homeowners, and keeping these items on the brain provides your family with even more information that can be used to deter crime. 24/7 Wall St. pointed out that laundry detergent, Tide-brand products especially, is a popular item used in place of currency in black market circles. Crime analysts also noted a growing number of organized crime organizations targeting pregnancy tests over the past few years. Both products are in high demand across the country and difficult to trace.
Break-in prevention strategies used to deter criminals
Since the favorite prey of burglars ranges from household cleaning items to expensive necklaces, homeowners are hard pressed to simply storing away their valuables. Thankfully, you can deter criminals and keep your electronics plugged into the wall by using your head. Window sight lines, for example, are quite important. Peer into you home from the outside using your windows; if you think a criminal would recognize your home as a sweet spread of valuables, then perhaps a bit of interior reorganization is in order. The San Jose Police Department also recommended installing curtains on as many windows as possible, including the garage.
These strategies should not and can not preclude the advantages of a comprehensive security system. Calling up a home security provider is also an easy way to learn more about home security and ask about the most commonly stolen items in your neighborhood. By supplementing monitoring technology from your security company with robber deterrence strategies, you and your family can keep in the risks of a break-in to the minimum.