Just married in Blacktown – burgled and wedding presents stolen
Many burglaries are crimes of opportunity with a desperate thief knocking on the front door to see if the owner is at home and if there is no response the thief will break a window or force a lock at the rear of the house, make a search for some easily sold small items such as jewellery or electronic devices and then make a quick getaway. Some thieves however are more organised and deliberate in the choosing of their targets.
This year I have had three call outs in the Blacktown area to rekey homes that have been broken into and ransacked whilst the residents were away, either on a holiday or a honeymoon. On one of these occasions the house was full of wedding gifts all of which were stolen They came back from their honeymoon on the Gold Coast to find an empty new home – not a great start to married life for these couples.
The thieves could have just got lucky but I suspect that they were either scanning websites such as Facebook for news of people going on holidays in the Blacktown area or scanning the papers for marriage announcements and then using the phone book to find the address of the married couple.
So if you are going away what steps can you do to secure your property?
First of all make sure if you have a Facebook account it is not open for one and all to read. Limit your allowed access to friends that way strangers cannot use your Facebook page to track your movements.
Get a house sitter. It’s difficult for an empty house not to attract attention. Even if someone is collecting your mail fee is that scanning for unattended properties will take note that your lights do not change and the grass of your lawn appears unattended indicating your absence.
Make sure you have deadlocks front and back and lockable windows. The only will this make entry and exiting your property more difficult you will ensure no nasty surprises from your insurance company if you do have to put in a claim. You don’t want insult added to injury having been burgled only to find your insurance policy is void because your home security was deemed inadequate.
Consider a motion activated alarm inside your home. There is nothing like alarm ringing in the ears of your property sees to make reconsider taking the time to empty your house and instead deciding on a quick getaway.
Set up timers on your lights and even devices such as stereos to make it appeared that your house is still occupied if you cannot find a house sitter.
If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time consider getting someone to mow your wall or pre-book a lawnmowing service to come and do it are specified future date.
Home security is all about using a bit of common sense. Unfortunately many people use the fingers crossed method of home security and take big risks with their property which could have been fairly easily and cheaply avoided.
My advice is next time you are going away, assume someone is going to notice and take steps to protect your property.