Nobody likes to think about burglaries, but these statistics prove that no one is immune to the theft:
20% of Australian homes have been burgled
Burglars enter a property in just 5 minutes, on average
In 2017, 225,900 Australian homes experienced a burglary (1 every 3 minutes)
After reading those stats, you may wonder what constitutes a burglary. Law enforcement defines the offence as “unlawfully entering a house or other building to steal property, usually at night.”
Only four countries have higher burglary rates than Australia: Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. Clearly, we need to be thinking about what we can do to minimise our risk of loss. Let’s take a look at the top ten items stolen from Australian homes and what you can do to reduce the chance of theft for each item.
# 1 Cash
Don’t keep cash in an easy-to-find or predictable spot. If you must keep some money at home, consider using a safe.
If you place expensive electronics in sight from a window, burglars may deem your house an attractive target. Therefore, keep laptops and other electronics out of view.
If you were a burglar, where would you expect to find jewellery? Most people keep their jewellery in their bedrooms, often on the tops of their dressers. If you want to make it difficult for burglars to find your jewellery, tuck it away somewhere else, under lock and key if you seek extra assurance. If you’re still worried about theft, jewellery insurance can put your mind to rest.
Like laptops and other expensive gadgets, don’t leave cameras out where a burglar could see them from your home’s exterior.
When you lose a phone to theft, you don’t just lose an expensive item; you also put yourself at risk for identity theft. Always put a password on your phone to keep burglars from stealing your data.
#6 Wallets, Handbags, Purses
One burglary victim always kept her handbag on a hook in her hallway, which was visible from her back window. A burglar was able to open the door, and in just a few seconds, that handbag was snatched.
#7 Identification Documents
With identification documents, burglars can open accounts and even take out loans in your name. Tuck your IDs away where burglars won’t be able to find them.
Televisions are the largest items burglars commonly try to snatch. Fortunately, their value typically falls well within the limits of home and contents policies.
#9 Computer and Video Game Equipment
Do you have an extensive collection of video games on display from your front window? Hide the temptation away from the view of your neighbourhood.
Thieves love watches. Why? They’re small, easy to slip into a pocket, and often worth many thousands of dollars. Store them carefully and securely because a home and contents policy probably won’t fully cover the replacement of a luxury watch, like watch insurance will.
Officers asked detained burglars which factors would deter them from targeting a particular property. Here are the top deterrents, ranked from most effective to least effective.
A barking dog
A functioning alarm system
Motion lights on the property’s exterior
Lights on inside the property
Grilled doors or windows
Visibility of the property from the street
When selecting a house to enter, burglars check for a lack of security measures. Fake security systems don’t deter burglars. Of all the homes on your street, you’ll want to make yours appear to be the most secure. Intimidate burglars by using at least a couple of the top deterrents on the list.
Special Protection for Your Jewellery and Watches
Note that jewellery and watches occupy the #3 and #10 slots on the top ten list. Each of the ten items represents goods that are easy to liquidate and turn into cash (note that cash occupies the top slot).
Jewellery and watches are small, valuable items that usually don’t have markers tracing them back to the owners. In other words, they’re perfect as currency for criminals. Also, they pack a lot of value into a small space. One diamond can be worth many thousands of dollars.
While televisions and laptops can be easily replaced, jewellery is trickier. For one, it might be custom-designed or no longer in production. Beyond the monetary value, jewellery often carries sentimental value and precious memories. What will you do if a family heirloom is stolen?
While you may not be able to prevent burglaries 100% of the time, you can protect your jewellery and watches no matter what happens. With jewellery and luxury watch insurance, your treasures can be fully covered. With travel insurance and home and contents policies, you can often recover a percentage of your jewellery and watch losses, but that won’t restore them to you.
A Comprehensive Approach
We recommend a comprehensive approach to defending yourself from burglaries. Safeguard your home as much as possible by deterring criminals using motion lights, a security system and a faithful barking dog. But don’t stop there. You should also minimise your risk of loss through insurance that can replace items if they are stolen during a burglary.
Learn how affordable it can be to protect your treasures by obtaining a jewellery insurance quote today. And if you have questions, reach out to us. We’re happy to talk anytime. Together, we can safeguard your jewellery and watches from burglars.