Repeat Burglary: Are You At Risk?


Being burgled is often one of the scariest and violating experiences of one’s life. The result is not just the loss of personal property, but the feeling that you are not safe, even in your own home. After coming to terms with a burglary, many victims think that the damage has been done and it won’t happen again. However, just because you have been burgled once, it doesn’t mean that you’re safe from a repeat incident – in fact, it’s actually likely that you will be targeted again. A quarter to half of all houses that have been burgled will be the subject of a repeat burglary within four weeks of the first one.

Why do repeat burglaries occur?


There are a few main reasons why burglars hit the same property more than once in a short period. Some of the most common are:

  • During the first attack, they spot other items that they were unable to get away with, so they return at a later date to finish the job.
  • Some burglars know that items such as televisions and computers will be replaced within weeks by insurance companies, so they strike again at that time. This is an easy double up for them.
  • Once a house has been burgled, the offenders know how to get in, how secure (or unsecure) it is, and whether any security enhancements have been made since the first attack. They effectively develop a sense of familiarity with the property, which makes it an easy target for a subsequent attack.

How to prevent a repeat burglary


The prospect of being the victim of a repeat burglary is unfortunately very real, and it is important that you take necessary precautions to avoid this happening. There are a few common sense things that should be done but also some less obvious ones that can have a positive impact.

Changing the locks should be your first port of call after being burgled. If you didn’t have a security system when you were first burgled, it’s time you installed one. If you did have a system, consider enhancing it with things such as additional sensors, back to base monitoring and security cameras, including prominent signage indicating the presence of these devices.

Install security screens and doors, and secure them with locks and dowels. External considerations such as gates, walls and landscaping (for example, shrubs and bushes) can also make it more difficult for burglars to access your property.

Finally, changing your personal behaviours and routines can also help. Getting into the habit of double locking all doors, whether you’re at home or out, and leaving lights on or setting light timers will give the illusion that someone is home (keep in mind that most burglaries actually happen during daylight hours when nobody is home). Many burglars actually invest some time upfront in monitoring and scouting a property before they hit, so changing up your routines can make it much harder for them to strike again as it’s not as obvious when the opportune time to strike might be.

By making the suggested enhancements to your home security and changing your routines, you may discourage return burglars from planning a repeat burglary as they are usually looking for easy and familiar targets.

You should always be prudent when it comes to home and personal security, so get into good security habits and engage the neighbourhood to keep an eye out – neighbourhood watch schemes can be effective, too. Greater awareness is the best form of prevention.