The Home Intrusion Shopping Spree
After a burglar enters your home they have only a few minutes to get the most valuable items and get out. The three items most commonly stolen items from homes are cash, high-value products (such as computers and phones), and medicine. Like a free shopping spree at the mall, burglars have tunnel vision to the highest value items in your home.
It is best practice to keep your most valuable possessions out of sight. Cash and jewelry should always be tucked away since they are more concealable items. Large items, such as computers or televisions, should be placed out of view of windows. Be aware of leaving iPhones or iPads in common space. These items can be easily slipped into the pocket of a burglar.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2017, $1.36 billion – that’s right, with a “B” – was stolen from American homes. Combine that with jewelry and precious metals, the total becomes $2.57 billion with only 5 percent recovered. Cash, jewelry, and precious metals are easy to move and nearly untraceable.
The recovery rate for electronics, furs, and household goods reaches 25 percent. Thieves understand this and seek out the more difficult items to trace first. Recently, the focus has shifted to stealing drugs.
Pharmaceuticals & Firearms
It should come as no surprise that cash and jewelry are the first things a home intruder will target, and on the list of most commonly stolen items. However, most homeowners might be surprised to learn that medicine and gun cabinets are two of the places a burglar goes first.
Nearly 60 percent of Americans are on some type of prescription drug so finding a home to target is not difficult. The value of these drugs, particularly opioids, have skyrocketed on the black market.
Unfortunately, the FBI does not keep actual statistics on prescription and over-the-counter drugs being stolen. Instead, these items are lumped into a miscellaneous category. One in three Americans know someone who is using opioids and will go through your medicine cabinet to verify.
The FBI does list firearms. Nearly $150 million worth of firearms were stolen in 2017 with only 15 percent recovered. It’s likely these were quickly sold and the serial numbers altered. These guns are lightweight and are worth a lot of money on the black market. Be careful to not store guns in a glass-front cabinet or an easily accessible space.
What to Do?
Securing these items somewhere safe in the home is an excellent start, but the best course of action is to arm your home with preventive devices. Let’s begin with exterior doors.
The Exterior Door
It is easy to kick in many exterior doors with flimsy locks that can be opened with a credit card or bump key. A bump key fits just about any lock. Even a deadbolt does little to prevent entry because the same bump key that opened the doorknob’s lock works on the deadbolt.
When those devices fail, it is very easy for the trespasser to rear back and kick the door down. Without kickplates or steel frames, even doors with a deadbolt can give way. The best option is a steel door encased in a steel frame. These doors can be cost-effective and be customized to look like a wood door.
Contact one of our technicians for an estimate.
Window guards are another excellent investment to keep your home safe from criminals. Many homeowners worry that window guards will detract from the architecture of their home and make it look like a prison. Steel Shield Security can customize window guards to compliment your home’s exterior while providing an additional layer of safety.
Windows at the back of the home or surrounded by shrubbery are an easy target for intruders. Window guards offer security against these robbers. These guards can be easily pushed out from the inside in the case of an emergency.
Crimsafe® for Outdoor Entertainment Areas
Another vulnerable area is your backyard barbecue, gazebo, or deck. Adding Crimsafe crime-resistant mesh that keeps insects, pests, and prowlers at bay can provide another line of security for your family.
Feel relaxed at your pool this summer knowing that a burglar does not have a chance to access your valuables around the picnic table.
Steel Shield Security Doors Are Your Home’s Best Bet
Call Steel Shield Security Doors at (623) 581-3667 for an assessment of your home security, so your prized possessions don’t end up on the most commonly stolen items list. Our technicians will provide suggestions for improvements to protect your home. Drop by our office at 1725 West Williams Drive, Building E, Suite 54, in Phoenix.