Burglary is one of the most common crimes committed in the UK; in fact, countrywide it is estimated that a burglary occurs every 106 seconds. The costs to businesses are high, as they experience an average loss of £2,000 per burglary – costing the UK economy over £1.8 billion per year.
This is why most responsible businesspeople are investing in security measures to keep their valuable stock and equipment out of reach - but which items are most vulnerable to theft?
Let’s explore the most commonly stolen items - and the times at which burglars are most likely to strike - to help you keep yourself, your business, and your valuables safe from intruders.
How And When Burglars Time Their Activities
Burglars typically time their break-ins at times when premises are likely to be empty or understaffed. This may be at night, or for longer periods such as holidays - and the summer months can be particularly risky for businesses, as this is the time of year when many staff members will be planning a holiday.
However, this doesn’t mean that business owners can get complacent during the daytime or in winter. Plus, as many burglars are known to use tactics such as pretending to be cleaners, plumbers, builders, or other tradespeople to disguise their criminal activities, it is important that staff members throughout a company remain vigilant and aware of threats in whatever form they take, at any time of year - day or night.
A big step to doing this will be to ensure that all items like the following which are stored inside your premises are kept safe, secure, and away from prying eyes.
What Items Are Most Commonly Stolen By Burglars?
1. Cash, Bank Cards, And Bank Details
It may seem obvious, but if you leave cash lying around your business an intruder is likely to take it, as cash is often untraceable, small, easily carried, and doesn’t require reselling. This is why it is so vital to ensure that any cash reserves you keep on-site are well protected by security vaults, CCTV cameras, access controls, and other measures.
Perhaps more surprisingly, bank cards are also frequently stolen during burglaries, likely due to the ease of using a stolen card to buy goods online.
Some businesses also leave their banking documentation in obvious places around their site, such as storing them in a finances drawer or a folder left out in the open.
In this instance, having bank details be easily accessible may make life easier for staff members who need to make company purchases or handle accounts, but this can be an absolute goldmine for thieves and fraudsters, so do make sure to keep any sensitive documents under lock and key.
2. Computers And Computer Equipment
Computers and computing equipment make up a large proportion of all items stolen from businesses. This presents a double risk, as not only are computers high-value items, but they often contain sensitive information that can be used for other crimes such as identity theft, fraud, or even blackmail.
Lightweight computing equipment such as laptops are particularly easy to steal – especially if they’re kept in offices, factory floors, university campuses, and libraries etc. that are left empty for long periods, as this gives thieves and other wrongdoers ample opportunity to get in and out with no interruptions.
To add to these bonuses for the criminals, laptops and computers can be quickly and easily wiped, making them easy to resell if desired.
Stolen laptops can only be traced if they are connected to the internet, meaning that thieves can easily turn off the connection until the laptop is resold - giving the unsuspecting buyer a nasty surprise.
3. Electrical Goods And Cameras
Many electronics are large pieces of equipment, so you may be forgiven for thinking that it would be difficult for a burglar to walk away with a flat-screen television or large computer monitor. However, most burglars are professionals and have spent years perfecting their techniques so that they are able to get away with stealing high-value items.
In particular, burglars may target businesses that are shielded from public view by trees or bushes, or remove items through a back entrance, where they are less likely to be seen. They have also been known to pose as a removal company or courier service, which enables them to carry out their activities in broad daylight.
Also, some electronics - such as mobile phones, for example - are small but high in value, and easy to take away. Digital cameras and other handheld recording equipment can be easily transportable and very high in value too, with professional models often being worth many thousands of pounds.
This is why certain types of business – like professional photographers, videographers, or retailers of electronic equipment - should always take particular care to ensure their goods are kept secure and locked away out of sight.
Want to make sure that your staff, property, and premises are kept safe from burglars and other security threats? Get in touch!