What are the odds your home will become a prime target for burglars this year? Well, the facts don’t lie. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, more than 200,000 Aussie homes are broken into annually.
When comparing the burglary rates in Australia with the rates in other developed countries, there’s no denying the fact that we have a burglary problem. However, despite our consistently dreadful B&E rates, especially in WA, the list of top 10 stolen items tends to change and mirror the current technology trends.
For instance, DVD players were third on the most stolen list in 2001, but they quickly fell all the way down to 18th by 2011. Today, they’re even lower.
Curious to see what ranks in the top 10 today? Listed in order, here’s how the goods in your home stack up in the eyes of thieves:
Cash is king. Not only can someone stuff a boatload in their pockets and walk away looking normal as can be, but it can be spent anywhere on anything and ironically doesn’t leave much of a paper trail. Unless you have a top-notch safe, it would be wise to keep the amount of cash in your home to a minimum.
2. Laptops and Tablets
While laptop, tablet, and desktop prices have dropped considerably in recent years, a good piece of hardware can still set you back a pretty penny. Plus, it has all of your photos, files, and important information. Thieves love these devices for this very reason. Not only can they sell them quickly and profitably, but they can potentially steal your identity as well.
A single bag of the right jewelry can fetch millions of dollars. Jewelry is also difficult to trace and super easy to sell. This makes it a prime target for burglars and definitely not something you want to keep lying around.
Cameras are also compact and easy to sell. Noticing a trend? An entire setup of high-end camera equipment including a tripod, SLR camera, and assortment of lenses can sell for thousands of dollars. Need we say more?
5. Cell Phones
Smartphones are another popular target for burglars and pickpockets alike. Not only are they smaller than your hand, but new models sell for $500 and up, making them impossible for some thieves to resist.
6. Wallets and Handbags
Like cash, this is another easy guess. In addition to being easy to snatch, wallets and handbags almost always contain credit cards and cash, which happen to be two things thieves love best. Having your wallet or handbag stolen makes you vulnerable to identity theft as well.
7. Credit Cards, IDs, and Documents
Today, burglars and thieves not only steal jewels, cash, and Picassos; they also steal credit cards, IDs, and important documents to sell on the “Dark Web.” Although putting your wallet or pocketbook in a secure safe may not be feasible every night, you should at least safely stow away your personal documents.
I’m sure you love your sprawling HD TV. Well, guess what, burglars do too. Despite being large, awkward to carry, and overtly conspicuous, TVs are another commonly stolen item for Aussie homeowners.
9. Computer or Video Games
They’re small and easy to sell at any game store for some quick cash, so it’ easy to see why crooks often swipe video games in addition to jewelry, cash, and the usual loot. Considering the fact that they sell from $10-$20 apiece and the average gamer has 5-10 games, thieves can’t help but snatch them up.
Rounding out the list of top 10 stolen items in Australia each year are watches. Similar to jewelry, watches are incredibly small and in some cases quite valuable. From Rolex to Invicta, there are several watch brands whose watches fetch anywhere from $100-$1,000 or more, making them a valuable target for burglars, pickpockets, and the like.
As you can see, there’s a laundry list of items thieves are attracted to time and time again. The good news is you can protect your home and your stuff simply by taking a few proactive steps and beefing up your home security. The stats are alarming, but there’s no reason you can’t safeguard your belongings and enjoy the security you deserve.