Serving Clients in Lake County, Cook County and Chicago’s North Shore Suburbs
More than 2 million homes were burglarized in the United States last year.
Here are a few facts to help prepare yourself if you are the victim of theft or loss
Before disaster strikes and you’re faced with a devastating loss, make sure that you have a detailed inventory of your personal property – pictures, details, receipts and records of the contents of your home. After all, would you be able to remember all the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years if they were stolen or lost? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help get your insurance claim settled faster, establish value of your assets and verify losses in the event you are the victim of burglary, theft or loss.
Each year more than 2 million homes are burglarized the United States. Insured losses for jewelry, gold, silver, valuables, cash and other personal property caused burglary, theft and loss reach well into the billions.
These stunning figures are a stark reminder that it’s critical for each homeowner to understand how a home inventory can help identify and archive your personal property while assisting you in maximizing your claim recovery in the event of burglary or theft.
Home Inventory for Burglary – Some Facts to Help You Prepare Yourself
Homeowners should be aware of some important facts regarding domestic burglary in the United States. These facts include; the primary area of the home to be burglarized, most common items stolen, most popular time of day for burglaries to occur, most common point of entry, the profile of a typical burglar, the amount of time a burglar spends in your home and what you can do to maximize compensation for your stolen property in the event your home is burglarized.
The Primary Area of the Home to be burglarized
In a domestic burglary, the first area targeted by burglars is usually the master bedroom. This room frequently houses jewelry, collectibles, safes and cash that the homeowner has “hidden away”. The second area often targeted by thieves will be home offices and formal rooms that openly displayed valuables. The definition of a “valuable” has changed over the years, moving from displayed collectibles like serving sets and china to widescreen televisions, computers and gaming consoles. With this change, has come a change in the pattern of items that burglars most often target.
The Most Commonly Stolen Items
There are many factors involved regarding the type of items targeted during a residential burglary. Certain items are almost always a primary target, including cash, electronic equipment, gold, silver, jewelry and firearms. Most of these items are easy to sell through pawnshops, online classified websites or through an underground black market network where they are often used in the perpetration of other crimes. Additionally, burglars steal items that are quick to steal, easy to carry, quick to sell and will provide them with the highest price.
The Most Popular Time for Burglaries to Occur
Burglaries can occur at any time of the day and any day of the week, but studies show that they usually occur between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. According to FBI crime statistics, over 65% of residential burglaries are committed between the hours 6am and 6pm. This fact surprises a great number of homeowners, because they falsely believe that criminals prefer to operate under the cover of darkness. However, homeowners are more likely to be home at night. During the day, most homeowners will be at work or out of the home running errands. This makes their home an easy target for burglars and greatly reduces the chances that the criminal will get caught in the act.
The Most Common Point of Entry
Most homes offer a variety of entry points, but some are easier targets than others for burglars. Surprising as it may seem, the most common point of entry into a home is through the front door, with 34% of burglars gaining entry in to the home this way. Additionally, 23% enter the home through a first floor window, 22% enter through a rear door, 9% enter through the garage, 6% enter through an unlocked entrance or storage areas of the home, 4% enter through the basement, and 2% enter through second floor entrances. The easier the point of entrance to the home, the more likely it is a burglar will use it. However, another concern for the burglar is to look as innocent as possible when entering the home. This is the reason why so few burglaries occur through an entry point on the second floor of the home.
Who is the “Typical Burglar”?
Burglars vary in age, race, sex, and motivation for committing crime. However, a typical burglar seem to fit a general profile; a male in his mid-to-late teens. The burglar almost always targets homes within just a few miles of their own home. Many victims of burglary think that the thief who burglarized their home as a professional criminal, as seen on popular television shows. The chances of being burglarized by a professional are considerably low, unless you are a person of prominent standing in the community or a collector of valuable items. The most common home burglary targets do not have significant enough valuables or have access to substantial funds to attract the attention of a professional thief.
How Long Does the Typical Burglar Spend in a Home?
One of the most important things to a burglar is the ability to get in and out of a home quickly without bringing attention to their activities. On average, a burglar will spend eight to twelve minutes in a home. The more difficult you make your home for burglars to access; the less likely they are to target your home.
Making Burglary Difficult for Criminals
On average, a thief will spend less than one minute breaking in to a home. There are a number of things you can do to make your home less enticing to a burglar. Install jams on windows and patio doors and deadbolts on all entry doors. Ensure that overgrown shrubbery or vegetation in which the thief can hide behind is trimmed, and keep the outside of your home free of clutter. This provides neighbors an unobstructed view of the house and eliminates any convenient hiding places. Always lock doors and windows and set your alarm if you have one. This last tip might sound like common sense, but make sure that all entrances to the home are locked and secured.
How can a documented asset inventory help you in the event you are a victim of burglary, theft or loss?
Having a detailed and up to date home inventory is a critical component to any disaster recovery plan. If you are not able to document and maintain an inventory of your personal property, hire a professional. The fee to have the initial inventory performed is minimal when compared to the amount for money, heartache, anxiety and stress it will save you in the event of disaster.
Contact Spyglass Home Inventory today to schedule a free, no obligation home inventory needs assessment.
Spyglass Home Inventory offers Home Inventory and Business Asset Inventory Services throughout Chicago’s North Shore suburbs including both Cook County and Lake County in Illinois. We provide our residential property inventory, business asset inventory, asset protection inventory, estate planning inventory, divorce inventory and prenuptial inventory services to families and business owners in Barrington, Barrington Hills, Deerfield, Deer Park, Glencoe, Glenview, Grayslake, Gurnee, Hawthorn Woods, Highland Park, Highwood, Inverness, Kenilworth, Kildeer, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, North Barrington, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Vernon Hills, Wilmette, Winnetka and other Northern Illinois communities.