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Burglars reveal the common mistakes homeowners make that tempt them

Dec 15, 2021

Are you an easy target? We’ve all done it – stashed the spare key in the pot plant near the door, or left a window unlocked because we’re just popping down to the shops.

A study was conducted by police surveying Western Australia detainees, to find out how burglars tick.

Overall 168 detainees were asked about their knowledge of common burglary tactics and here is what was discovered:

What mistakes increase your chance of being burgled?

  • Hiding keys in obvious places i.e. under the doormat
  • Properties that appear vacant
  • Leaving bins out
  • Letting your mail pile up in the letterbox
  • Not parking your car in the driveway
  • Homeowners who are under the influence of alcohol
  • Leaving curtains open with valuables in plain sight
  • Leaving a light and radio on late at night clearly advertising a home is vacant
  • Previous robberies in the neighbourhood

Some respondents said they still burgled properties when the occupant was at home, but just waited until they were clearly occupied with outdoor chores like gardening or washing the car.

Improving the security of your premises is a good way to deter and thwart any burglary attempts. So what can you do?

  • A dog – 61.4% of detainees surveyed said they’d be deterred from trying to break into a property if the owner kept a four-legged friend
  • A working alarm system
  • Grilled window’s and doors
  • Sensor Lights
  • Security Camera’s
  • Secure Fences

Staying at home won’t also stop you from being burgled, as 46.2% say they would still enter a home while the owner was inside, providing they thought they could get away with stealing things undetected.

The majority of detainees said they’d typically commit a burglary in the hours between 6pm and 7am, though 37.9% said they’d attempt it during the day.

A common theme we are starting to see is breaking into a Car, stealing the Garage Remote/Clicker, and opening / entering the Garage of a house. It’s very important to ensure the internal door is locked between your Garage and the House, and ensure you don’t leave valuables in sight.

Another issue we are now faced with is floor plans and photos being available online when a house is up for sale/rent. Why does this pose a risk to you? Well intruders know where your bedrooms are, know where doors and windows are located, and what they possibly need to break in, and they can plan their escape routes via Google street view/satellite view in the event they need a quick getaway.

Social media also poses a huge risk, if your profile isn’t set to private and you are posting those incredible holiday pics. Great way to find out that you aren’t home.

Interestingly, the study suggested 57.8% of burglary offences were spontaneous, while roughly a third involved prior planning.

Be safe, and rethink. No one wants to be a victim.

If you would like a review of your Home and Contents Insurance, please contact Austbrokers Comsure on  1800 122 194

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