Most burglars that break into your home aren’t trained professionals. More often than not, they are just some low-level crooks that figured stealing your hard earned goods is a great way to turn a quick profit for them. When thieves come knocking, what items are they most eager to find in your home? How can you attempt to ensure that they go away disappointed? Here’s a list of the top ten items on a burglars wish list:
What’s lightweight, untraceable, easy to transport, rapidly concealed and has instant value? Cash is the ideal score for a crook. Thieves love nothing more than opening a desk drawer to find a wad of $20’s.
Don’t think you can outwit the thief by stashing your bills in a lock box, either, because this is another of the first places a thief will look. If your safe is small and not attached to the floor, they will likely grab the whole thing, make a dash, and open it later. The safest place for cash is your bank.
Purses and Wallets:
What better place to find cash than in those places that we naturally keep it? Most people leave wallets, keys and purses on hooks or shelves by the door. While this is convenient when you’re dashing out the door, thieves will happily snag them without even a moment of snooping in their contents—it’s always a safe bet they’ll get a good score. If a thief breaks into your home and triggers your home security alarm, most will have the presence of mind to make a grab before dashing out the door.
When thieves snag your bag, they are not only hoping for cash, but also for credit cards, debit cards, and any other information that they can use to steal your money and possibly your identity.
Jewelry is some of the most commonly stolen items. After all, it’s almost always kept in a nice jewelry box right in plain view and easy reach. With the current rising demand for gold, silver and precious stones, it’s never been more advantageous or easy for a burglar to take your grandmother's engagement ring and the 10 year anniversary necklace your husband got you and pawn them downtown.
Just to remind you, every thief knows to look in the sock drawers, so don’t bother hiding them back there. Instead, if you have jewelry you want to keep safe, put it in a safe box in your home or in a safety deposit box at the bank.
Thieves do not pause to examine the quality of the jewelry before they steal it either. Your cheap trinkets will vanish just as quickly as your priceless gems.
Firearms are one of the easiest things for a thief to sell on the streets. Guns and other weapons are always in high demand, and thieves usually have a good idea of the street value for them. Guns should be locked up in a gun safe or kept in your safe room for protection and to avoid them being stolen or used against you during the robbery.
Gaming consoles, video games, gaming accessories, and TV’s are usually a quick profit for a thief. They are certainly more conspicuous to steal, as people are always going to wonder when they see someone walking down the street carrying a flat screen TV. On the other hand, they are some of the easiest goods to sell. To help thwart the sticky fingered thief, make sure the kids put these high dollar items away when they’ve finished playing, and write down the serial numbers of each expensive piece of equipment.
Computers, phones and tablets:
Just like other electronics, these items are easily sold for a high profit. Most people leave these items in plain sight, as well, such as on their office desk or kitchen table. Such items are most commonly stolen during the day, when the doors and windows are unlocked and anyone walking by can peep in and see your expensive goods. Such bad habits often contribute to robberies.
In addition to losing whatever documents or files that you have kept on the equipment, there is also often sensitive information contained in the hard drive. Try to store tax related documents, all passwords, and any other personal information on an external hard drive safely hidden in your strong box.
Not all thieves are going to know the value of a piece of art when they see it, but most know enough to think snagging it will be worthwhile, especially if you have it in prominent display. Old coins, valuable vases, vintage buttons or jewelry will be an easy target for a thief, and any experienced burglar worth his salt will know exactly where to sell them. Many professional thieves will do their research regarding what types of valuable antiques you’ve purchased before they come knocking, and have the proper equipment with them for stealing and transporting the goods.
Antiques that are especially valuable should be stored in a vault at a bank or other secure location, especially if you are frequently away from home for long periods of time.
What with the seemingly ever increasing cost of prescription drugs, these meds are becoming a hot spot on the black market. While most thieves will pocket painkillers and other narcotics, other drugs, such as your antibiotics or heart medications, can fetch a good price when sold.
It may surprise you to know that your household goods are at risk for robbery. Most thieves recognize the value of high quality kitchen appliances and cutlery. Espresso machines, air purifiers, expensive pots and pans, power tools, and even lawn mowers are in danger of being nabbed by a determined thief. These items are surprisingly easy to sell to the right pawn store and are nearly impossible to trace. While you can’t realistically lock away every drill and mixer, you can take care to not leave them out on your counter. Thieves want to get in and get out, and sometimes won’t bother searching through your cupboards for these heavy, but valuable, goods.
The worst and most costly thing a thief can take from you is your identity. This is why it is so vital that you hide your important documents and sensitive information in a well protected place. Credit cards, debit cards, check books, tax returns, bills, birth and marriage certificates, medical documents, and especially social security cards can be used to hijack your identity. It’s best to keep this sort of documentation in a safety deposit box or home safe.
Being prepared for a robbery and trying to ensure that a thief goes away disappointed is an easier task than it seems. Simple measures, such as installing a home security system and following other tips for preventing a break in, can be the difference between a home invasion and a thief that gives up and chooses to find an easier target.