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How your valuables are stolen

We surveyed people convicted of burglary offences to find out what, how and why they stole from their victim’s homes. Despite what you may think, many items often aren’t covered as standard by home insurance, which is why specialist cover is essential.

The above image shows which rooms - and which areas of the rooms - are most likely to be targeted, based on our research.

The results

We normally picture burglars creeping into our homes in the dead of night. However, one of the most alarming findings of our survey is that during the morning school run is a popular time to break into someone’s home. Thieves know the house will be empty at this time, so they’re unlikely to be caught.

How burglars break in

Nearly half of those surveyed told us that they were most likely to burgle a home on the spur of the moment, if and when they saw an opportunity. By contrast, only 23% cased the property beforehand.

Although 66% of respondents said they’d typically force entry into the home, they also said the first thing they’d do is check if any door was left unlocked or any window was left open.

In fact, 88% of burglars will check for unlocked doors and windows first.

What burglars are looking for

When burglars break into your home, they’re looking to steal as much as they can while being as quick and inconspicuous as possible. This means they’re looking for small items with high value, which explains why items such as laptops, games consoles, as well as jewellery, cash and perfume are all targeted.

Bedrooms and living rooms are the most common areas of the home that burglars will search for valuables, with 55% of our respondents specifically targeting them. One respondent even said they targeted children’s bedrooms because they’re virtually guaranteed to contain electronics and games consoles.

What’s most likely to put burglars off?

CCTV and house alarms are the joint biggest deterrents against burglaries, with 56% of respondents ranking them most likely to discourage them breaking into a home. This was followed by dogs and other lesser deterrents such as outdoor lights, bolt locks and large heavy doors.

A combination of these security measures provides greater protection, but nothing can guarantee your home will be thief-proof. That’s why you need specialist valuables insurance in case the worst happens.

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