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What to do about burglaries?

Most people think burglaries usually take place at night. However, of all burglaries and attempted burglaries recorded, only 20% take place at night. Burglars use this time to break into private homes. They can do so in complete peace and quiet, even if the victims are home at the time.

Cambriolage Sécurité Suisse

How burglars work

A photo posted on Facebook or Instagram, a letterbox overflowing with mail, leaflets piled up under a doormat, a dustbin that has not been taken out for several days in a row: a clever burglar has many ways of spotting a prolonged absence. His observation skills also apply to all the little everyday oversights that can motivate a break-in attempt: an open window, a closed but unlocked door, an alarm system you forgot to set before leaving, etc.

A burglar first seeks to determine whether the entry into the home is likely to present a risk to their security and their own discretion. They will therefore first identify easily-accessible targets, the surroundings of which will allow them to operate without attracting attention. They will then try to quickly seize valuable objects, with items like jewellery or cash, for example, being favourites.

Latest French studies

Due to Covid, the high presence of private individuals in their homes during 2020 led burglars to turn more to businesses. For this reason, a 56% increase in break-ins was recorded in shops and department stores between Q1 of 2019 and Q1 of 2020. The indicators show that burglars still predominantly target densely-populated urban areas.

Tips on how to protect yourself and avoid attracting the attention of burglars

Before planning a burglary, perpetrators will scout the area. By observing homes from a greater or lesser distance, burglars are able to determine two things: the value of the goods in, and level of security of, the property. It is during these scouting forays that burglars choose their next targets. Without evidence of potential loot, burglars usually move on.

There are several ways to ensure discretion:

  • Don't leave your valuables exposed

  • Be discreet about your social media posts

  • Do not reveal your travel habits

  • Hide the inside of your home with blackout curtains

  • Avoid mail accumulating in your mailbox

  • Use deterrents: simulate a regular presence in your property, install a gate, do not leave any access constantly open, close your blinds or shutters.


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