When looking at the possessions in your own home, it’s sometimes difficult to evaluate what the most valuable items are—or at least the ones most likely to be stolen. Your perception of the value of your belongings are different than that of a burglar; you have sentimental attachments to your things, but they’re just looking for whatever can turn them the most profit as fast as possible.
We’ve put together a list of the statistically most commonly stolen items in home robberies with some tips on how to secure them and prevent the most amount of damage in the case that you are the victim of a burglary.
Obviously, this is what burglars are looking for, ultimately. They want to take money. Finding cash in your home would be the jackpot. In the age of credit cards and online banking, it’s become much less common for people to keep large quantities of cash in their homes. However, wallets and checkbooks are still prioritized targets. Piggy banks and trendy “savings jars” are also easy cash grabs for burglars.
If you keep cash in your house, definitely don’t keep it all in one place. Spread it out, and hide it in unconventional places. Store your wallets and checkbooks out of sight when you aren’t using them.
More and more people are working from home, and personal electronics have become widely popular as well as more affordable. Many households keep multiple computers, and almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet today—even the kids. As electronics have become more portable and convenient for us, they have also become so for burglars. Phones, laptops, and tablets have pretty standard prices, so as soon as a burglar sees one, they take it to mean an automatic resale of hundreds of dollars.
Because electronics are so frequently used, it’s hard to store them away. And if it’s something large like a TV, it’s not really reasonable to try to store or hide it away anyways. What you can do is secure them or make them harder to take. You can lock your TV or laptop to something immovable when at home. You can lock something around it or around part of it, making it harder to be moved. Anything that makes it more annoying and troublesome to remove is useful. However, these can be clunky and obtrusive measures sometimes—and the point of portability these days is the lack of obstructions to ease. When you can, put them out of sight and somewhere you safe and not easily accessed. However, it’s also a good idea to install tracking software and secure your devices with solid passwords just in case, because they are so easily stolen.
Another staple of home robberies is jewelry. They are associated with valuables, so they are obvious targets for burglars. From jewelry left out in the room to jewelry boxes, these are quick grab-and-stash items for thieves.
There are several sneaky disguises for jewelry boxes available out there, but they aren’t for anyone. We recommend that you store very expensive or sentimentally valuable jewelry in a locked jewelry box somewhere out of reach and out of sight.
These make for a convenient weapon-and-value in one. Firearms can sell for a significant amount of money on the black market or simply as resale. And, along the way, they might be convenient for the criminal to have around.
Your firearms should always be locked in a gun safe separate from the ammunition. Their location should always be discreet and uneasily accessed—if not to avoid burglars’ access, then to protect children or guests.
This is another item that sells for a significant price on the black market. Medications that you obtain legally through a prescription can be resold—sometimes by the pill—for a steep hike in price through illegal means.
Storing important, expensive, and crucial medicines in a locked cabinet is a very important measure to take. Losing your medications means more than monetary loss for you. It can be difficult, expensive, and time costly to get another prescription. Your health should be a priority, and it’s worth taking the extra steps to secure your medications.
6. Gaming Systems
Gaming systems are expensive, as are the games that run on them. Console gaming systems and their games resell easily; there is a large, easily tapped market for people looking for used systems or games sold illegitimately. These buyers are usually just looking for a quick sale, and don’t mind if it’s legitimate or not.
When not in use, keep gaming systems out of sight. If you have collectibles, or just want to secure your systems, you can keep them in a locked cabinet.
7. Free-Standing Safes
Safes are often indicators that there are some things of value inside them. Even though burglars are unlikely to be able to break into them on the spot, they often just take the safes with them to break later, when there aren’t time or sound constraints.
If you’re going to make the effort to get a safe, get one that is either extremely heavy or one that can be bolted into the ground. If someone can carry it off, it’s not really safe at all.
8. Expensive Clothing and Furs
Brand names are another thing that has an established value. Furs and name brand clothing are attractive to burglars both as value in resale and also as items to own themselves. Most burglars cannot afford to buy expensive clothing themselves, so when they see a coveted bag, coat, or pair of shoes, they’ll grab it in a heartbeat.
Cover very expensive and sentimental clothing with opaque bags so that their value cannot be discerned right away. When you aren’t regularly wearing your furs, store them properly and keep them out of the way. Clothing is hard to hide because of its volume and the frequency of their use. The best you can do is to keep the most expensive clothes you own (that you don’t wear all of the time) out of sight.
9. Illegal Drugs
Drugs are a big motivator of crime. Whether they intend to resell it or use it themselves, if a burglar comes across illegal drugs, they’ll definitely want as much as they can get. To some burglars, this is even more important and prioritized than cash.
Criminals often steal from the houses of other criminals nearby, so it’s unsurprising that this is a frequently stolen item. Don’t keep illegal drugs in your house; they are a big draw for burglars, and they can result in a lot of trouble for you and your situation with the police after you’ve been burgled.
10. Household Keys
If there are extra keys lying around that they find, burglars like to pocket them as well. They might not know what the keys open, but they’re hoping it’s your house or your car—or that safe that they’re taking with them. They might want to come back another time to see what valuables you’ve replenished.
Important keys that you don’t use daily, like those to gun safes, the garden shed, a neighbor’s house, other safes, and etcetera, should be hidden away out of sight.
The best protection is a strong deterrent. Having a home security system and a sign that says so keeps most burglars away—unless you prove to observers that you have a bad habit of not arming it. When they see that your home has a security system, most burglars think, “Why bother with that risk if there are houses without security systems out there?”
If you’re ready to set up an affordable monitored home security system today, call Protect America at 1-888-951-5136 today.