What’s worse than a burglary is a repeat burglary. It means that the burglars still managed to find a weak spot that allowed them to gain entry into your home. Are burglars likely to come back?
A study by Churchill Home Insurance found that burglary victims are 25% likely to have their homes burgled again and an 8% chance of being burgled 2 or 3 more times.
So, yes, burglars are likely to come back to the same properly.
There are several reasons why a repeat burglary can happen.
Failure to make security upgrades
The study by Churchill Home Insurance found that a surprising number of people did not make any security upgrades after the initial incident.
This is the primary reason why a burglar might return. If they were not caught the first time around, they are confident they can do it again.
They will scout your home to find out if you’ve made a fix. If you didn’t put up a stronger door, secure the garage door or clear the bushes around your home, they will strike again.
If you still don’t do anything after the second attack, don’t be surprised when your home becomes a frequent target. Word will spread quickly to other burglars.
They already know your home
Burglars don’t like taking risks. That’s why deterrence measures such as a surveillance camera or a combination padlock are highly effective at preventing burglary.
A repeat burglary carries less risk than attacking a home they’ve never been before. They know the layout, the weak points and where the valuables are.
They can be in and out in no time.
That’s why it’s important to patch up any vulnerabilities the burglar took advantage of the first time. If you don’t, it’s an opportunity for them to come back.
They spotted more valuables the first time
If the burglar spotted valuables they did not manage to take the first time, it’s motivation to come back for a second attempt.
How to stop a repeat burglary
1. Upgrade your home security
Many people assume that they won’t be attacked again.
Surely, the first time was just bad luck. There’s no way burglars can strike twice in the same house.
Unfortunately, statics say otherwise. If anything, your home is a juicier target after the first burglary.
One of the first things you should do after a burglary is to assess your home security, determine how the burglars broke in and fix any weak points.
Don’t wait too long to do this. Repeat burglaries tend to happen days after the first one, when you least expect it. You should upgrade your security within a few hours or within the next couple of days.
Focus on the vulnerabilities the burglars exploited as well as weak areas they might use in the future.
Some of the best security upgrades include:
- Surveillance cameras. Get at least two of those internet-connected cameras that let you monitor your home from anywhere on your phone or computer. Put one camera at the front of the house and the other at the back.
- Install a security alarm system if you don’t already have one.
- Secure all entry points. This may involve replacing some doors or adding more secure locks.
- Clear any bushes around your house that afford a bugler the privacy they need to get inside.
2. Do not make your absence obvious
If a burglar wants to come back, they will wait for the best opportunity when you are not home especially for an extended period. This can be during a weekend getaway or a holiday trip.
If there will be no one home for more than a day, don’t make your absence obvious.
Leave some lights on and ask neighbours to pop in now and then to check that everything’s okay.
If you have a smart home, it’s easy to remotely control lights and the TV to make it seem like someone is home.
Another simple tip that many people neglect: Do not mention your vacation or put up vacation photos on social media until you come back. The burglar could easily be one of your followers and they’ll know exactly when you’ll be away.
3. Look out for scouting burglars
After the first burglary, learn to identify any potential burglars lurking around your home.
Even a repeat burglar has to scout before they make another attempt. Look out for anyone unfamiliar who keep passing your house, sometimes pretending they are jogging.
Also watch out if you see the same unfamiliar car pass your house several times. Take note of the registration number and make.