Burglars reveal how they pick which home to target & the best spots to hide your valuables

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When going away on holiday, many people will worry about the security of their house and the belongings they have left behind. Before setting flight, people can set up their home security alarms and look for a safe place to hide their belongings. However, research carried out by John Lewis Home Insurance revealed the surprising places which could be best for homeowners to hide their things. Speaking with six reformed former offenders through St Giles Trust, they revealed how to stop the property getting targeted and the best places to hide belongings.

What are burglars looking for?

The survey revealed a third of ex-burglars will look for important documents when they break into a property.

This included things like passports, driving licences, credit cards and bank statements due to the value associated with them.

They revealed certain signs tip off when someone is away, including closed curtains and the car being away from the drive.

However, the survey revealed the most telling sign of an empty house was letters and leaflets sticking out of letterboxes or packages left on the doormat.

“The increase of online shopping has made it easier – if you’re walking down the road and see a parcel on a doorstep there is a good chance someone is not in,” one former offender said.

“I would suggest not ordering parcels if you won’t be around when they arrive and getting neighbours to check for parcel deliveries regularly while you’re away.”

Where is best to hide valuables?

It may seem like a good idea to hide belongings in pots and pans or living room drawers but these spots could be the most at risk, the survey revealed.

Instead, choosing to store valuables in a children’s bedroom and inside a toy or toy box could be the best place as it is an “unwritten rule” burglars will not enter children’s rooms.

The survey also showed putting things in DVD cases or hidden away in food packets could keep them the safest.

It said: “I would hide my car and house keys in the food cupboards if I was going away – rice packets, cereal boxes. They are not going to go through all your food packets.

“DVD cases is another good place to hide valuables because they are harder to find.”

The reformed offenders explained they could spend up to two months watching a house before stealing from it and are most likely to target a property between 4pm and 5pm, when many homes are left empty.

However, it was recommended that security cameras and smart doorbells with cameras were the best deterrents for potential burglars.

Using timer switches on indoor and outdoor lights and keeping blinds open could help keep the home safe.

Asking neighbours to keep an eye on the property and to collect excess mail could also help.

For those going away, not publicly advertising the holiday will make potential break-ins less likely.

People are more likely to get burgled in London than any other city in England and Wales, a study revealed. 

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