In the United States each year over 6 million homes are robbed while residents are on vacation. The majority of those breaking into homes are opportunists, they see something and they take it. Usually working on impulse and taking low risk items.
According to the Burglary prevention council, 28% of summer break ins are performed by someone who watches the home for daily routines and wait for the occupant to leave on vacation before breaking into the home.
The home items most often taken are, tools, cameras, credit cards, sports equipment, jewelry, TVs, computers and laptops, DVD players and stereo equipment.
Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce your risk of a summer break in:
1. Create a neighborhood watch, your neighbors are your extra set of eyes when you are away from home, know your neighbors and know each other’s schedules. Let a neighbor know when you are leaving and when you will return, alert the police too, they will do additional drive bys at different times of day.
2. Lock your doors, especially the door from the house to the garage and the side yard to the garage. Lock fence gates. Lock all your windows too.
3. While away disable your overhead garage door opener and lock the overhead door to the track.
4. Use timers to turn on lights and TVs throughout your home, set them for the times you would normally be using the lights or TVs.
5. Use outside lights, a well lit home will discourage would be robbers, they will go to a dark home first.
6. Stop the mail, milk delivery and newspaper.
7. Close shades, what a thief can’t see they can’t take.
8. Install an alarm system or at least put an alarm company’s sign in your yard.
9. Monitor your answering machine message and your trash. Don’t indicate you are away from home and don’t put out the trash with the box from the new flat screen TV.
10. Have a home safe and lock up important papers with your account numbers, social security numbers, check books and extra checks, any jewelry or other small valuables.