Lax home security leads to rise in household ‘sneak breaks’

Police from the Brisbane West District recently reported 11 break-and-enters in a single week, with the main points of entry being unlocked doors and windows with no security screens in place. This opportunistic criminal approach has been dubbed a ‘sneak break’ because the thieves have no problem gaining entry and so are usually in and out of your house very quickly. While some sneak breaks happen while homeowners are away at work, scarily enough they are also happening while people are home.

Any suburb

While the suburbs reported on included Pullenvale, Keperra, Toowong, Taringa and Indooroopilly, it’s important to note that no suburb is immune. Stolen items in these sneak breaks included wallets, cash, handbags, jewellery and small electronics like phones, iPods and laptops. In some cases, homeowners leaving their car keys around rewarded the thieves with an easy getaway vehicle too. An article in the Northern Daily Leader reported that in Tamworth, New South Wales, a homeowner was relaxing in front of the telly when a sneak break occurred. He had no security screens on his windows and leaving a window slightly ajar for a bit of a breeze turned theft into a bit of a breeze for the sneak breakers. They simply cut the flyscreen on the window, entered his home and took his wallet, mobile phone and laptop. Needless to say, the next day he installed additional security measures in his home.

Crime patterns

“Crimes like this tend to happen in ‘waves’ – criminals keep a look out and notice that many homeowners in a particular area are relaxed with their security, whether at home or away at work,” advises Cassandra Lehmann, General Manager of Davcon. “They then repeatedly target these sneak break ‘soft spots’ until awareness is raised and homeowners install better security measures.” Unfortunately it’s far too common for people to only install proper security screens and doors, such as those in the Crimsafe range, after a break-in. John reminds homeowners that the simple reality is that if criminals cannot quickly and easily gain entry into your home, they most likely won’t steal your goods.

Sneak break prevention

  • Don’t leave valuables easily visible when you are home or at work – lock them away safely
  • Don’t leave unsecured doors and windows open, whether you are in or outside your home
  • Install proper security mesh doors and windows, such as Crimsafe
  • Targeted areas include patio and deck doors so ensure they are also properly secured – the Crimsafe range of security screens can be customised to fit any opening
  • Install sensor lighting around your home so it will switch on when someone approaches
  • Don’t leave ladders or tall items in view, as these provide quick access to high windows
  • Don’t leave boxes for new electronics and goods visible to passers-by as this can alert them to what goods are in your home and be an incentive to try and break in
  • Be alert – notice who is walking or driving around your neighbourhood
  • If you see suspicious behaviour, note down vehicle registration numbers or physical descriptions and report it to your local police or to Crime Stoppers immediately

Contact Davcon today for a no-obligation assessment to Crimsafe your home.

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