What is Most Often Stolen During a Residential Burglary

If you're trying to protect your belongings from theft, you may end up wondering what's most important to protect. Which items are at the biggest risk of being stolen during a home invasion? Most burglars try and get in and out of the home as quickly as possible. While there are occasional news stories of an entire home being ransacked and emptied by brazen thieves, it is much more common that a burglar will steal anything of obvious value that can be carted out in under ten minutes.

Most burglars are opportunists. Once they break into your home, they will steal anything in plain sight with obvious value. Not a lot of planning typically goes into these burglaries; the object is to steal as many valuable items as possible, in as little time as possible. The objects most often stolen during a home burglary are those that are small and easily converted into cash. Jewelry boxes and piggy banks or jars of coins are common targets because they can be converted to cash easily, and are kept in the same location in many homes. If you leave your credit cards, checkbooks, or guns unprotected, you can expect them to be stolen as well. If you have expensive jewelry, guns, and other belongings, placing them in a diversion safe is an easy way to protect them from these burglars, who want to be in and out of your home as quickly as possible, yet still have them easily accessible for those in your household who know where to look.

Prowlers and professional thieves may use more sophisticated tools to break into your home, and may already have an idea of what you own. They are often more comfortable sticking around for a longer period of time, and are the ones most likely to make a mess of your home. If the thief decides to spend more than a minute or two in your home, they are likely to target your electronics. Gaming systems and other expensive belongings that are still relatively portable make easy targets for thieves looking to make some quick cash by stealing your belongings. Although your new HDTV may be a target, if it is too large you may find that it has been smashed by the burglar, rather than stolen, because cannot be taken quickly.

The fact is, every modern home has something of value for burglars. While you can and certainly should hide small objects, such as heirloom jewelry, it is impossible to keep a thief from stealing your electronics once they get inside your home. A far more effective strategy is to keep them from entering your home in the first place and limit any potential time inside the home. Devices such as door and window locks and security cameras can make thieves much less likely to enter the home. Once inside, loud alarms on every potential entry point will make them think twice about taking the time to make off with your belongings. As soon as they hear the alarm blaring, most criminals will simply turn the other way and run, since they won't want to be caught inside your home.

By James Shaw

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