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Criminal Minds: How to Think Like a Thief

by William Ross

In my younger and more vulnerable years I was a common sneak thief - at the age of 21 I was sentenced to three years in prison for multiple acts of burglary. But those days are gone and I now use my time to prevent home burglaries rather than commit them. My own personal experiences are able to provide valuable insight into how you can protect your home and lower your chances of being victims of burglary.

Household burglary is one of the most common crimes in Australia and, according to Australian Institute of Criminology, over 35 per cent of Australians believe their house is at risk. It is therefore critical to undertake preventative measures to protect your property.

Outside of looking up home insurance quotes for possible damage, the trick is to think like a thief - beat them at their own game and make your house less of a target.

Install an Alarm

This simple measure could not only deter burglars when they see evidence of it from outside your house, but also provide you with adequate warning if they enter your house when you are sleeping. You could also consider installing a CCTV system to allow you to see who is arriving in your driveway or walking around the side of your house without having to go outside. This footage can also help with police investigations if these burglars do manage to get inside. Installing signage about your alarm system on the outside of your home is an excellent preventative measure.

Get a Dog and Lock It Up

Dogs are not only great companions but they are very protective of their space when strangers enter. The presence of a barking dog (even just a small but loud one!) can scare a burglar away from your property. Give them the what-for with a yapper.

An obvious but sometimes forgotten measure - close all of your doors and windows when you leave your house and install quality security locks. These will slow down any intruders and make it more difficult for them to enter your home.

Appear to Be at Home

Burglars will avoid entering a property where the owners are at home and will look for houses that appear empty. Take simple measures such as leaving a light or a radio on to make your house look lived in. If you are going away for a long period of time, ask a neighbour to empty your letterbox, collect the newspaper and take out your bins. Some burglars will call your home phone number to see if anyone answers. It is therefore a good idea to have your phone line forwarded to your mobile so that you can always answer.

Hide Your Valuables

Make sure your important and valuable items are not visible from windows. Burglars will choose to enter homes where they know they are going to be rewarded, so hiding wallets and phones and installing curtains or roller blinds will make it harder for thieves to see items of interest.

If you follow all of these guidelines, your risk of being a target of burglary is greatly reduced. However, nothing can completely prevent it from happening. It is important to make sure you have adequate home insurance coverage that will protect you in the unfortunate case of burglary and help provide some comfort throughout the painful experience.

William Ross Bill is a freelance writer and blogger who has published several articles about online gambling and gaming. He enjoys conducting research from the comfort of his home office and upgrading his custom-built Alienware computer.


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