When leaving the home, you’d be forgiven for taking one look at your furniture and valuables with a loving gaze. However, with the eye of a burglar the room’s landscape is completely different. They sweep through everything, measuring the value of their loot. But how do they make that judgment? Which items are the most likely to be stolen? This is an important issue homeowners should know, to better protect and hide said belongings in case their defense system fails. According to the Automobile Association’s research, jewelry and watches are the prime targets (43%), closely followed by purses and wallets (38%). The third place is given to medium-sized electronics such as computers and laptops (34%). The rest of the list includes mobile phones, clothes, medicine, a vehicle and furniture.
The Evolution of Burglary Tactics
Despite the slight changes in burglary trends, a certain pattern seems to have emerged. Upon entering a house, criminals usually seek valuables that are small and lightweight (such as jewelry) so that they can be easily hidden in their pockets. Bicycles are a favorite because they are not only worth a lot, but also serve as an escape vehicle. Small-sized electronics such as smartphones and laptops are all good potential items since they can easily be resold after a thorough ‘reset’. Larger electronics (like a flat screen TV), however suffered a drop in popularity since small-sized GPS trackers can be planted on their backside. Sports equipment also belongs to the ‘grab and sell’ category. Some reports highlight gardening tools and objects as potential targets, although it’s possible that the victims mistook the liberation of their precious garden gnome as robbery, when in fact it was an act of kindness from a beauty-conscious neighbor.
The Lesson So Far
In contrary to popular beliefs, value isn’t the biggest factor in a criminal’s eye. Yes, their loot sold on the black market should compensate their effort, but they categorize the items in a different manner. The most attracting loot is either small, easy to carry or cannot be identified. A burglar’s first priority is to secure the stuff and they must count on the possibility of a chase. They also rarely steal documents (unless they are in a bag that is stolen) or any other items that feature the original owner’s name.
So how can all of this be used in your favor? We suggest against leaving your most precious items at plain sight and instead putting them in drawers or cupboards. You should also consider placing a few bait items. These are tools and things that look expensive but are otherwise easy and inexpensive to replace: medicine, old watches, cheap jewelry and the like. Without enough bait, thieves will become unsatisfied and start a deeper search. But if they fill their bag with useless junk, they might leave without doing too much damage.