“To catch a thief, you must think like a thief!”
It sounds like the setup for a joke from Looney Toons or an episode of The Simpsons, complete with cartoon trap and slapstick sound effects.
But when it comes to protecting your home and property from burglars, looking at your house from the perspective of a wannabe thief can go a long way towards protecting your home.
Thinking like a housebreaker, you figure out how they plan out their thieving and their reasons for targeting certain houses over others. And from this, you can identify weak points in your home and as such, see areas that need improving.
There’s only one problem: you’ve never broken into anyone’s house before. So just how are you meant to get into the mind of a thief planning to burgle your home?
Fortunately, Galmier Locksmiths is here to help! We are big believers that the best way of improving your home’s security is is by thinking like a thief. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of things that burglars look for in houses... and what you can do to defend against them!
Where thieves break in…
According to a published report by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), 66% of break-ins were through unlocked doors and windows. Isn’t that a perplexing stat?
Whether planned in advance or an impulsive decision, one of the first things thieves see when looking at your home is all the possible entryways.
- Are the entrances secured with locks?
- Can they get in and out without being spotted?
- Will they have to break and enter or is as simple as opening a door?
If you were a burglar, would you choose a house with a locked door and risk being spotted picking the lock, or the one where you can waltz in and out?
It only takes a few minutes for thieves to swoop in and steal your possessions, so we can’t emphasise enough the importance of keeping all of your home’s doors and windows locked at all times. And that includes the ones on the second floor - while you might think it’s stupid to risk climbing to the second floor, that doesn’t mean a burglar will too!
In addition to just locking your doors and windows, make sure that your home is equipped with heavy duty lock and key fixtures that effectively secure your home.
Galmier Locksmiths can help you with keeping your home safe and secure. We have a variety of high quality locks available including the latest in digital lock technology.
Another way you can keep your home secure is by installing a home security system. After all, another part of the equation is whether they can get in and out without raising the alarm or being spotted - that’s why even the tiniest dogs are reportedly one of the most effective deterrents to burglars!
Adding a CCTV system or even a simple alarm can be a very effective tool at discouraging would-be burglars.
What thieves take...
Since we’re talking about thinking like a thief, we simply can’t ignore the elephant in the room - namely, what burglars and thieves are looking for when they enter other people’s houses!
Knowing about what they usually steal can help you to keep these items in a safe and secure space.
Make sure you keep the following items protected, as these are the top 10 items most frequently stolen in Australia:
- Mobile phones
- Wallets and handbags
- Identification cards/documents
- Video game equipment
In short, burglars are looking for small, easily transportable items they can carry out of your house easily and resell - while a 52-inch TV might be the most valuable, good luck getting it out of the house without raising a few suspicious eyebrows.
And guess what else is being stolen?
Something small - and usually accessible in the home. Can you think what it is?
Your car keys!
That’s right: cars are being stolen right under our noses by thieves stealing your keys first.
In fact, last year the Herald Sun reported that 427 cars are stolen every week, but here’s the most shocking stat: 70% are stolen using their own car keys!
Most burglars are discouraged by expeditions that last more than a couple of minutes. So if you have a lot of loose cash, high-end electronics or jewellery throughout your house, keep them hidden at all times.
Know when thieves strike...
While thieves can break into your home anytime they get the opportunity, there are certain times when they are most likely to strike.
Based on reported burglaries, thieves would most likely break in between 12pm and 5pm and would least do so around midnight.
Thieves tend to break in more on weekdays - particularly, on Fridays - while they’re less likely to break in on Sundays.
The most straightforward explanation is that most people are at work or school during weekdays - thieves want to minimise the risk they’ll run into someone in your home.
If you have neighbours who are home all day, asking them to keep an eye on your house can help reduce the odds of a burglar targeting your home. Even better, think about CCTV installation so you can watch over your home yourself any time of day!
Another piece of advice: never advertise the fact you’re going on holiday. That’s a lesson English footballer John Terry learned the hard way, when his Instagram photos tipped off burglars.
Beyond policing your Instagram posts, we also recommend getting a trustworthy friend to collect your mail and take your rubbish out - a letterbox stuffed with catalogues is a pretty clear sign that your home may be unoccupied.
Beat thieves at their own game and keep your home safe!
Make your home burglar-free with Galmier’s local locksmiths
Of course, understanding the way burglars think is only one part of the equation when it comes to protecting your home - keeping you and your family safe also means taking steps to prevent break-ins from happening as well!
For expert help improving your home’s security, reach out to Galmier Locksmiths today.
Our local locksmiths are committed to helping you achieve maximum protection for your home. Together, we’ll beat potential thieves at their own game!