Although Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for the majority of us, it can also end in disaster for some families. This is because Christmas is the busiest time of the year for burglaries.
As homes become loaded with presents and people spend more time visiting their loved ones, houses become more vulnerable. Here are some horror stories from Christmas burglaries from the past few years, as well as advice on how you can protect your home.
Data on Burglaries at Christmas
Data on burglary rates in Australia shows that burglary rates increase over the festive season. In New South Wales, for example, the data shows that there are 763 property offences committed on Christmas Eve on average, over 100 more offences than the daily average of 629 throughout the rest of the year.
Let’s take a look at some examples of burglaries and how they’ve created horror stories for the people they affected.
Hope Brown of London, England told The Independent that her home was burgled on Christmas Day while she visited her family in Wales. Burglars entered her apartment via a communal door that should have been secure, but was left open.
While she was in Wales, she received a call when she was on a country walk with her family. She was told that the burglars entered the apartment on Christmas Day morning, taking cameras, video recorders, jewellery and a brand new computer.
Not only did the burglars take items with a combined value of several thousand pounds, but they also ruined Christmas. Ms Brown’s Christmas break came to an abrupt end, as she left her family to return to the scene of the crime.
Some Christmas burglaries don’t even require the family to leave the house completely. Last Christmas in Christchurch, a 17-year-old stole a laptop, tablet computers, a cell phone, a camera, a video camera, bank cards, a driver’s licence, a handbag, a purse, some house keys and a car all while the home’s occupants were in their back garden on Christmas Day!
On Christmas Day in 2014, three men forced their way into a Canberra man’s home, robbing him and knocking him unconscious, according to the Canberra Times. The incident happened at about 10pm on Christmas Day, when the man answered an unsolicited call at the door. The burglars knocked the man unconscious before stealing his house and car keys, a mobile phone, a wallet containing cash and a replica diamond ring.
How to Prevent a Burglary at Christmas
Although the above stories are horrible to hear, there are ways that you can safeguard your home and family over the festive season. With burglaries on the rise, it’s important you stay vigilant at all times. You should also take simple precautions such as:
Fitting Timers to Indoor Lights and Porches – Burglars like to work under the cover of darkness. Fitting motion-sensitive lighting or lights on a timer can not only give the impression that people are in the house when you’re away, but can also act as a deterrent to burglars by lighting the area, increasing the chances they’ll be caught in the act.
Hide Valuables – Everyone likes to put their presents under the tree at Christmas time. However, if your tree is in view of a window or can be seen from street level, then this may be best avoided until the day itself. Ensure all presents, especially high value items, are hidden from view.
Keep Keys Safe – Burglars will often target properties they know they can gain access to, and many will scout out potential targets before they strike. Ensure that keys are not left in accessible places, such as under the door mat or under a flower pot.
In addition to these simple steps, you should also consider the installation of a home security system, so your loved ones and precious belongings are safe all year round. At Adeva Security, we can help you protect what matters most. So call us for a free security assessment and quote on 1300 773 633.