Here is a list of the top 13 items that are stolen during home burglaries and a specific tips on how to prevent those items from being stolen.
TOP 13 ITEMS STOLEN BY BURGLARS
1. Cash -- It's untraceable, doesn't need to be sold and it is small/easy to carry.
2. Prescription drugs -- Easy to sell on the street and very profitable.
3. Jewelry -- Also easy to carry away and fairly easy to sell to stores who buy gold, silver and precious stones.
4. Electronics (televisions/gaming consoles etc.) -- A little harder to carry away but still pretty easy to sell.
5. Computers/cell phones -- Easy to steal but a little harder to sell because most people are getting better about using passwords.
6. Guns -- One of the easiest items to sell on the street and very profitable.
7. Tools -- Also pretty easy to steal and fairly profitable.
8. Household goods/decor -- Thieves do steal decorative items and art, pots and pans and appliances. Not very profitable but usually easy to sell.
9. Designer handbags/clothing -- Also popular items to steal and many people interested in buying what they normally could not afford.
10. Alcohol -- Many thieves steal simply to enjoy themselves. But they may try to sell the more expensive liquor or wine.
11. Personal papers -- Thieves will steal personal information to be used later to steal your identity.
12. Golfing equipment -- Good golf clubs can cost quite a bit and also fairly easy to sell.
13. Bicycles -- Although bicycles can be a bit cumbersome for a thief, a good bike will sell quick.
TIPS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BELONGINGS
1. Don't keep large amounts of cash in your home. Put it in the bank. You may think that hiding it in a freezer or a box of cereal is a clever way to keep it from thieves, but they know all the tricks.
2. Keep your necessary prescriptions with you and dispose of leftover or expired prescriptions.
3. If you have very expensive jewelry, get a safe deposit box at your bank. They are fairly inexpensive. The most common place to hide jewelry is in the back of drawers and thieves know it.
4. Make sure you record the serial numbers for all of your electronics. Less than 5 percent of stolen electronics are ever recovered because most people don't keep this information.
5. Make sure to have passwords on your computers and cell phones. Never store sensitive information on your computer or phone. Make sure to store tax and pay records on an external hard drive that you keep in a safety deposit box or secure place. If your phone is stolen, report immediately and have it turned off.
6. Make sure guns are securely stored. A large gun safe is hard to haul away. Also, make sure that all guns are registered to make recovery easier.
7. Keep tools in locked toolbox. The bigger the better. The harder you make something to steal, the less chance it will be stolen.
8. Keep a list of any valuable household goods. Take photos of decorative items or art. Make sure they are listed on your insurance policy if valuable.
9. Keep the more expensive pieces of clothing and designer handbags out of sight. Mix expensive pieces with regular clothing etc. in closets to make it less noticeable.
10. If you collect expensive liquor or wine, try to keep it out of sight and in a secured cabinet.
11. Don't leave personal papers out in the open. Shred sensitive documents that you don't have to keep. Put birth certificates and social security cards in a safety deposit box. A locking file cabinet in your home may also be enough to stop most thieves.
12. If possible, store your golf clubs in a secure area. At least don't leave in plain sight. If they are expensive clubs, take photos and keep detailed description for insurance purposes.
13. Use a bike lock even at home. Chain it to something in the garage and use a bike lock if you leave it on a patio or balcony. Also take photos of bike and keep detailed description.
Of course, a good alarm system, surveillance cameras and lights will also help deter thieves. In addition, it is a good idea to make friends with your neighbors so that they are willing to keep an eye on your home when you are away and are also more likely to notice when someone they don't know is near your home.
Always remember that a determined thief will always get what he or she wants despite precautions. Even so, many thieves will be deterred if you take a little time and spend a little money to make it hard for them.