Approximately every three minutes, a residential burglary happens in Canada. In 2014, police reported about 151,900 break-ins across the country, with Saskatchewan homeowners having the highest frequency of burglary and Ontario having the lowest.
You may think it's most necessary to protect your TV and stereo system. However, thieves nowadays target items that are not just high in value, but also lightweight and portable which make them a fast easy steal and ideal for a quick cash sale.
- Did you know that if items are stolen out of your car it's your home insurance that will provide coverage and not your auto insurance?
Most stolen: What thieves are taking
In 2011, residential theft claims data from the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) showed that commonly stolen items included jewelry, digital cameras, home theatre equipment, iPods, CDs, DVDs, cash, and gift certificates.
In their most recent data, Aviva Canada also adds tablets, laptop computers, cell phones, video cameras and gaming consoles to the list.
In light of the digital age, expensive electronics are becoming a lot smaller, and consequently easier to grab, driving up the value of stolen goods. The average dollar value of articles stolen from burglaries has increased from $4,574 in 2003 to $7,243 in 2013.
Usually, the frequency of residential burglaries spikes a little during the holiday season, but they are most common during the summer months as windows and gates are left open, and residents leave their homes unattended more often and for longer periods of time during vacations.
- Related Read: Going on Vacation? 10 Ways to Protect Your Home
BCAA data in 2011 also shows it's common for items to be stolen from sheds, garages and yards such as barbeques and bikes.
How to Avoid Becoming a Target
Installing a security system with a loud alarm and flashing lights is always a great option. You can also ward off burglars by making your home look occupied while you're away. Leave on a light or the radio, or ask your neighbours to mow the lawn (or clear the walk of snow) and collect the mail and newspapers left in front of the house. Lastly, keep your vacation plans off of social media as this could serve as a warning to burglars when your house will be vacant.
If you realize you've been the victim of a burglary, alert the authorities immediately. Then, contact your home insurance broker as soon as possible.