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8 Tips to Avoid Opportunistic Thieves

Posted by Hermione Crone
17th May 2016

Burglars will break into your home by any means possible. They’ll look out for vulnerable areas of the property, along with disregarded access points that may have slipped your mind. Although some criminals plan their break-in weeks beforehand, on other occasions a theft can be opportunistic and spontaneous.

To assist with your home security, here are eight tips which can both deter and prevent opportunist criminals from targeting your home or workplace.

Ongoing Security
Opportunist thieves will manifest in many guises and can strike at any time. Because of this, you should employ a tight-knit, efficient security plan 365 days a year to safeguard your home and possessions. Consider installing CCTV cameras or burglar alarms in visible areas to ward off intruders.

Don't advertise your latest purchase on recycling day

Image copyright: Jason McHuff via Flickr

Don’t Advertise
Don’t publicise expensive goods that could attract unwanted visitors to your property. For example, if you’ve recently purchased a top-of-the-range TV or laptop, don’t leave the packaging outside too long before collection day. Likewise, ensure that costly items aren’t on display near windows or inside your vehicle.

Leaving Keys Outdoors
Many of us will leave a spare key near the front door – underneath a doormat for example – in case we forget to take or lose our original. Although on most occasions this tactic won’t be exposed, it only takes one chance look and a burglar has full access to your property. In some cases, this can also negate insurance claims if a ‘break-in’ occurs this way.  

Letterboxes
An often neglected part of home security comes via the letterbox. Opportunist thieves attempt to ‘fish’ inside with a hook or rod to steal house and car keys. To counter this, leave all valuable items out of reach from the front door or install a letterbox cage.

Protect your letterbox from thieves by putting on a cage.

Image copyright: Kamal Hamid via Flickr

Drones
In recent years, drone aircraft have been used by criminals to carry out surveillance on homes and businesses. By fixing a camera to the drone itself, images of the building layout and possible weak areas can be pinpointed, as well as possible escape routes. Stay extra vigilant if one is spotted above your property or report to the police if overly concerned.

Out Buildings
Garages and garden sheds can often be targeted by thieves who see them as an easy touch. They’ll look for anything of value, such as garden tools, furniture and scrap metal, and can even use ladders to break into the house itself. You should use strong padlocks to secure shed doors whilst motion sensor lighting can also frighten away an intruder.

Vacant Properties
Intruders will be on the lookout for clues a home is vacant or that the occupants are on holiday. An empty driveway or stacks of post are tell-tale signs for example. Neutralise this threat by asking a neighbour to make routine visits or setting lights to a timer. Of course, all doors and windows should be locked and reinforced when absent for long periods.

Report any drones you see flying over your property

Image copyright: Richard Unten via Flickr

Cold Callers
Doorstep crime is a real problem in the UK. Creative and deceptive cold callers will pretend to be meter readers or charity collectors to gain access. They may also offer to complete household tasks for reduced prices and use this opportunity to steal items. The best advice is to never let unfamiliar people inside unless I.D can be verified, using chains or spyholes for added security.


If you found this post interesting and would like more information, then check out
9 Helpful Home Security Tips for the Elderly and How To Keep Your Home Safe When You Go Travelling.

Posted by Hermione Crone
17th May 2016