HomeLifeHere's what thieves want from your house

Here’s what thieves want from your house

It used to all be about taking off with your big screen telly and cash, but as televisions get cheaper and bigger and we are using less and less cash, thieves are subtly changing their habits.

Smart devices with tracking capability and car immobilisers are also putting the handbrake on traditional robbers’ favourites, so what are robbers targeting now?

So giant tellies are out (so hard to tuck under your arm as you sneak off) but small items such as electronic goods, cars, and car keys and anything portable is in.

Your number is up

According to the RACV, the number one thing stolen from cars is number plates.

The Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) reported 15,622 number plate thefts across Victoria in the year ending March 2023, an increase of 960 offences compared to the year ending March 2022.

Stolen number plates are put on other cars to ‘blur’ the vehicle’s identity when it’s used for criminal purposes, or used by people who just don’t want to pay for registration.

Foil the crim’s intent by using anti-theft screws available at all car supply shops and many hardware outlets.

Car exhaust systems are also popular with thieves. Seems odd, right? More specifically, they are targeting the catalytic converters, which contain valuable metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium that track prices similar to gold.

Does your car have a catalytic converter? Probably, as they’ve been required on all Australian cars since 1986.

Tyred of life

Traditional favourites are expensive tyres and rims and any valuable items left in the car, even sunglasses.

Your best protection is to keep the car in a lock-up garage if possible and get into the habit of taking anything of value inside every time you leave the car.

If your house has been broken into and it doesn’t seem like anything has been taken, check if all your keys are still there.

It’s becoming popular to steal keys and come back later, take the car and get into the house using the stolen keys.

Keep all your keys in one place, but not in an obvious location such as near the door or on the kitchen table.

Animal attraction

It seems your furry best friend is not even safe, there has also been a rise in pet theft. It used to be trendy breeds to be used for backyard breeding or status symbols, but even everyday dogs and cats are being nicked these days. 

Nation-wide pet theft numbers aren’t kept with any accuracy, but according to Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency, about 300-400 pets are stolen across the state each year. Translate that to nation-wide numbers and we are looking at thousands of pets being stolen.

The easiest way to keep your pet safe is to have it microchipped. Other good tactics include attaching a discreet GPS smart tracker to their collar.

There’s been a lot of building going on since the pandemic, with a backlog of works still going through the industry.

Anyone who is building a home, or even just renovating, will know the price of building supplies is going through the roof, which makes them attractive to thieves.

If you are leaving building materials out, you might as well put a neon sign above them. Thieves will case new housing areas to see what’s available and even whole pallet loads of bricks have been stolen.

Keep your home or home-to-be safe by installing CCTV cameras as soon as you can and put tracking devices on high-value items such as tools and equipment. 

Have you been burgled? What did they take? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: How your yard is tempting burglars

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


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