5 reasons burglars return to the same house
Over one million homes in the UK are burgled each year, causing thousands of pounds of damage and emotional distress. One burglary is bad enough, but did you know that thieves target the same properties multiple times? They may return after a failed attempt initially or return to the scene several months (or even years) later to finish the job.
Police forces across the UK are stretched, and burglary doesn’t appear to be a priority. If a criminal has broken into a property before and got away with it, why wouldn’t they return to the scene of the crime?
Here are 5 reasons burglars return to the same house – and what you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property.
1. Unfinished business
Burglars are opportunists who often use an unopened window or unsecured door to sneak inside. What they see may influence whether you’re likely to be targeted again.
If they gain access to a property, they may escape with a bag full of your possessions. But if they spot high-value items, they return after a period of time to finish the job.
What are they searching for? There’s a market for anything – cars, bikes, antiques, musical instruments. Often, these items are stolen to order and can disappear almost immediately.
Being burgled is a traumatic experience – and you must learn the lessons from it to prevent it from occurring again.
Advice: If your property has been broken into once, you should be on high alert and ensure you stay extra vigilant. Now is the time to invest in extra security (see below) and to assess your behaviours. Are you doing enough to keep your home safe?
2. Proven access
Burglars target properties that are easy to access. They want safe and secluded access so they can break in and escape with your belongings. If they’ve gotten away with it once, they’ll likely return – particularly if your insurance company has replaced all your items.
Advice: If you’ve been the victim of a burglary, spend time understanding how the person gained access to your property and act. There are many ways to add extra security to your garden and strengthen protection for easy access points, such as French and patio doors.
3. Poor security
Many burglaries are the result of poor security practices. For example, people leave their homes with windows open or unlocked, doors.
Maintaining your home security involves ongoing assessment of vulnerabilities. A broken fence or busted garden gate can let someone in if left unfixed. An unopened window that’s accessible can enable a burglar to get inside. A tiny gap in a patio or French door can be prized open with a crowbar. Old locks can be forced open by a determined individual or tea.
You must keep on top of security if you’ve been the victim of a burglary before. You may find that your insurer won’t pay out again for any stolen items if you’ve not acted to protect your home.
Advice: If you’ve been the victim of a burglary, it’s critical that you act. Ensure your home isn’t an easy target, and increase security. An alarm system or integrated home security system can be a good investment, but doing simple things like locking windows or fitting a door jammer can stop thieves in their tracks.
4. They know who you are and where you live
If a burglar gains access to your home, they can grab documents that give them your name, address, and other details, which they can use to understand who you are. This could spell danger in the future.
Burglars may find you and follow you on social media. Or they may stake out your home and watch as you go about your business, searching for another opportunity to access your property.
Advice: Recognise you’re at risk of further burglary and act. Don’t publish or promote the fact you’re on holiday on social media or anywhere online. Instead, consider changing your activities and ensuring your home is never left empty for long periods.
5. Burglars talk…
Home intruders often work on their own, but they do talk – and that could spell bad news for your property. While you may not be targeted by the same person, thieves can share information with one another.
They will be familiar with the layout of a property, including access points.. As outlined above, they may share information about high-value goods like art, antiques, or musical instruments.
In fact, details of your property and possessions could be shared across a wide network of professional thieves.
Advice: You can’t stop burglars from talking, but you can stop them from taking advantage. Up your security, ensure possessions are secure and never promote time away from your property.
Don’t make your home an easy target.
If your home has been targeted once, you must be on high alert it could happen again – and act. How? By boosting your home security, changing your behaviour, and being vigilant.
Burglars want easy access to your property, so sometimes, taking small steps can have a considerable impact. At Securian, we provide extra peace of mind and protection for their properties. Our range of high-quality door jammers and locks provides a physical and visual deterrent. In many cases, simply seeing one in place will mean don’t bother attempting to break in.
You can check out the full range of Securian home security devices here.