stolen money

Being the victim of a break-in is never a good feeling, as burglars prey on unguarded houses at all times of day. Burglars often strike quickly, with the aim to swipe as much as possible in a short period of time to avoid detection or being caught. The immediacy of their attack makes some household items more susceptible than others.

Here are a few of the most common items stolen during break-ins (the FBI reported the average haul is more than $1,000) as well as a few tips to possibly avoid it altogether.

What’s stolen?

Money. This is an easy target, as homeowners often have some bills on the counter or a dresser or they’ve left out a wallet or purse. The latter can also lead to identity theft. We all have piggy banks of sorts, too, which also is a beacon for a crafty criminal.

Jewelry. Another easy grab, jewelry of all kinds is on the radar. Watches, necklaces and the like are easy to snatch and even easier to take to the pawn shop for a quick cash-in.

Tools. These are sometimes taken without entering a house. They can hit up an unattended garage or easily enter when inside the house.

Electronics. We live in the digital age and many households own several pieces of high-end technology. Phones, tablets, laptops, HD TVs, video game consoles and more make burglars’ eyes light up. These also are likely items for pawn shops or online shopping pages.

Prescription drugs. It takes no time to go through the medicine cabinet. Prescription drugs are sought for personal use or for sale on the streets.

Most Common Items Stolen In Break-Ins

Protecting you and your belongings

If you have a sliding glass door on the ground floor, a 1/4-inch wooden or plastic dowel placed in the back groove is among the cheapest home security systems. This helps keep the door from being forced open. A burglar is more inclined to move on to another home if the door takes time to open.

Outdoor lighting also can aid in the battle against burglars. These items also are affordable, with solar, motion-sensor lighting available at most department stores.

Setting lights on a timer could help ward off thieves if you’re going to be away for a while.

Law enforcement agencies also warn against posting details of your trip on social media, as that alerts people to the fact you’re not at home.