The Latest Burglary Tricks, and How to Prevent Them

According to reports, there were still over a thousand burglaries happening every day in the UK during lockdown, despite the fact most people were at home during the day and evenings.

The reason behind this shocking statistic lies with the fact that burglars are becoming increasingly creative in their quest to find their way into people’s homes. Here we reveal some of the most common burglary tricks being employed by unscrupulous intruders, with advice on what you can do to protect yourself against them.

Burglary Tricks

Trick #1: Masking tape over keyholes and doorbells

The aim of this burglary trick is to discover which homes are occupied and which aren’t. It involves sticking masking tape over a keyhole of a house that is believed to be empty. If the tape isn’t removed after a few days, it is assumed that the house is unoccupied. The same tactic is used for doorbells, with the tape causing the bell to continuously ring. If there is no answer, again the house is assumed empty.

The solution: If you’re going to be away for a while, be sure to ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your front door, looking out for tape over keyholes or doorbells. Leave a key with someone you trust and ask them to pop in regularly. This will of course break any tape that has been left over a keyhole. Consider installing a video doorbell, allowing you to answer the door wherever you are in the world via your smartphone, so preventing the tape-over-doorbell burglary trick.

Trick #2: Leaflet build-up

Another common burglary trick to be aware of is a build-up of leaflets through the door. Burglars will post leaflets through letterboxes for a few days in a row. If the leaflets are not seen to be tidied away, they will assume the house is empty.

The solution: Ask a neighbour to keep an eye out for any leaflets left protruding from your front door, and if they can come in and clear away any mail from the doormat to a location that’s out of sight of the window, all the better.

Trick #3: Distraction

Distraction is a technique that has been used for many years by burglars. However, lately there have been reports of a new distraction method used by potential intruders, where bogus callers claim to be administering COVID-19 vaccines, using it as an excuse to enter properties and pocket valuables such as mobile phones and cash.

The solution: Always check who is calling before you open the front door. If you don’t recognise them, don’t make the mistake of ignoring them, as it could be a burglar checking to see if anyone is home. Instead, speak to them through a closed door, or from an upstairs window. Anyone claiming to be an official caller should be able to show ID, and won’t be offended if you make a call to verify it. A smart video doorbell will also allow you to converse with any caller at the door from the safety of the inside of the house.

We have plenty of helpful advice on how to avoid distraction burglaries here on our blog about bogus callers.

Trick #4: Lock snapping

Lock snapping or lock bumping is a common burglary trick used to gain access through doors fitted with euro cylinders, typical to UPVC doors and composite models. The process involves breaking the cylinder to manipulate the lock into opening. No specialist knowledge or tools are required to break a cylinder and, according to the Master Locksmiths Association, a quarter of burglaries involve snapping.

The solution: Installing high security locks with snap-proof cylinders is the only way to prevent this burglary trick. There are many such locks and cylinders on the market, and it is advisable to engage the services of a Master Locksmiths Association accredited locksmith who will be able to recommend, supply and install the best choice of lock for your needs and budget.

Trick #5: Sneak-in burglaries

Research has revealed that 58 per cent of burglaries occur when someone is in the home. These sneak-in burglaries as they are so-called involve experienced thieves entering through an unsecured door or window, with occupiers rarely realising that they have gained entry.

The solution: Preventing this burglary trick is as simple as securing doors and any accessible windows. If you need to keep windows open for airflow, use limiters to lock them in place so that they cannot be fully opened to gain access. Be especially careful about locking doors and windows upstairs when you are downstairs, or vice versa, and be sure to lock all your doors and windows if you are outside in the garden, at any time of day.

There is plenty more useful advice on our dedicated blog about preventing sneak-in burglaries.

Be on your guard to avoid the latest burglary tricks

Whilst many burglars are opportunistic, taking advantage of easy pickings via the likes of open doors or windows, some will go to greater lengths, employing more creative approaches to gain themselves access to a property. The key advice is to be aware of the common burglary tricks that are being used, and to take common sense steps to keep your property secure.

Unsure of the most appropriate security solution for your home? Master Locksmiths Association accredited Barry Bros Security is on hand to assist. With over seven decades of experience, and helpful experts ready to provide tailored advice, you can rest assured you’ll be equipped with everything you need to safeguard your property.

For the guidance you need, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.