If you’ve been burgled will they come back? Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes. One in six burglary victims were targeted again following the first burglary, and over 2/3 of those repeat crimes were at the same property. These figures, from a confused.com survey of people who had experienced a break in and contacted their insurance company, make for frightening reading. Burglars think very differently to the rest of us, and while we might not understand why on earth a burglar would return to the scene of a crime for a second go, it makes perfect sense to a burglar.
Most burglaries are over within 10 minutes – of course we hear stories in the news about burglars who were caught napping or eating at the house they broke into, but these are in the minority. In most instances the burglar wants to get in and out as quickly as possible, to minimise the risk of being caught, meaning they may not have the time or the resources to steal everything they find. They will then return to take the items they couldn’t get duing the first visit; in many cases they may have found a buyer for a certain item in your home, making it worth their while to return – after all, they already know how to get in.
Many homeowners drag their heels about tightening security following a break in because they believe that they’re at a low risk of a repeat crime, but this could not be further from the truth. People tend to be more concerned with replacing their stolen items, and burglars know this. They will often leave a few weeks between the first and second burglary, in order to give you time to replace your stolen items with newer and more expensive versions – which they’ll come back to relieve you of. They also know you’re not expecting a repeat burglary, so you’re unlikely to have taken many security measures and this means they already know the best ways in and out of your home.
Sometimes people return home to find evidence of an attempted break in, and this is definitely the time to increase your security measures immediately. A burglar may not have come with the right tools the first time, or they may have been scared off by someone returning home unexpectedly. They will come back, this time with the right tools or at a time they know they won’t be disturbed. A working intruder alarm and CCTV are the best deterrents you can invest in, so please make sure you install at least one of these should you find evidence of an attempted break in.
The measures most homeowners take involve tightening the security of your windows or doors, as the assumption is that by preventing access through these routes this will prevent a repeat burglary. Sadly, this is not enough to deter a repeat offender, and as they’ve already cased your home and found the security weaknesses, it’s likely that they’re one step ahead of you when it comes to finding an entry point. A garage which has a door into the house is a very weak point, and a favourite of burglars who don’t want to attract attention.
Anything which draws attention to the burglar, such as gravel paths, blinds pulled down that will rattle when someone tries to climb through, or motion activated security lights are a good idea, but it’s the sight of an intruder alarm and CCTV that will deter burglars most effectively. If you can leave a vehicle in the driveway, and lights or radios on around the house this will make it look occupied, which is another of the major deterrents for thieves.
If you’ve been the victim of a burglary, get in touch with us to make sure you’re not targeted again. We can recommend products and systems to keep your home secure, as well as other measures you can take to reduce the attractiveness of your home as a target.