There are approximately 901 thefts per 100,000 people annually. In order not to be a part of this statistic, many people try to protect their homes — some choose alarms, while others rely on strong doors with complex locks. But even the most observant people don’t always notice that robbers have already started to watch their home and are waiting for the just the right moment to make a move. Pay attention to details that can be connected with theft even if they seem insignificant at first sight.
Bright Side prepared a list of signals that should help keep you alert. We hope that you’ll never have to encounter a theft but even so, it’s better to be on guard.
1. Missing garbage
Robbers are attracted to a home not only with money and jewelry. Very often, people throw unnecessary papers into the garbage that contain important information like your name, date of birth, working place, passport number and other data. This data is exactly what robbers need to use for their own purposes. That’s why you should make a rule to always tear up any papers with personal information into small pieces before throwing them away. And if you notice that somebody was delving into your garbage — stay aware of it because it isn’t always a homeless person searching for food.
2. The disappearance of your dog
Dogs guarding a house or a flat are a burden for robbers. That’s why they may try to get rid of the “guardian” by drawing it outside when the owners are not at home. After 2 days, the robbers will come back no longer afraid of being bitten by the dog. Of course, a missing dog doesn’t always signify an upcoming robbery but one shouldn’t exclude this option either.
3. An empty gas tank
In order to prevent the owners of a home from coming home earlier, robbers may drain their cars’ gasoline and, therefore, apprehend them on their way home. In the worst case, you won’t even be able to get to the petrol station, which means that you’ll get back home even later. That’s why if you feel sure that yesterday you had a full gas tank and today it’s almost empty, ask someone to look after your home until you come back.
4. A new janitor
If you use the services of cleaning companies and it’s always the same worker who gives you the service, then the appearance of a new one should make you feel worried. Especially if the company itself didn’t say anything about it. The new “janitor” could be a robber who wants to inspect the home for valuables. The best thing to do would be to call the company and ask if there had been any changes in their staff and why the previous worker had been replaced.
5. A broken window
Some criminals throw stones at a car’s or home’s windows in order to check whether the owners are at home and whether the alarm will work. If none of the owners or neighbors come outside to check what happened and the police don’t come either, then it can help the robbers to calculate the best time for the robbery. If you are at home and someone broke any glass, call the police immediately.
6. Problems with light
If you live in a private house and there are lanterns with motion sensors installed in your yard, check them right away in the case of malfunction. Slightly unscrewed but not burned light bulbs are a signal that someone wants to sneak into your house staying unnoticed.
7. Commercials and stickers
Robbers mark easy-to-sneak-into houses and flats with the help of commercial flyers and simple stickers. Of course, sometimes a flier is just a flier but, either way, it’s better to get rid of it right away. If you are going to leave for vacation, ask your neighbors to take away not only ad booklets and stickers but your mail as well. A pile of papers in the mailbox is an obvious sign that the owners are not at home which gives a green light to robbers.
8. Strange marks
Erase any suspicious marks that appear on the door of your flat or house, on garden lanterns or simply near your home. It’s another method for robbers to mark easy-to-sneak-into houses or the houses where the owners are absent.
9. Calls from unknown numbers
In order to find out at what time the owners of a home are absent, robbers can call to the home phone and drop the call. If a small child picks up the phone, robbers can try to get some information from them. Explain to your kids that they shouldn’t say anything to strangers and don’t ignore repeatedly dropped calls — it’s better to approach the police in advance.
10. A broken lock
Malfunctions of a lock or scratches on the door are signs that somebody has already tried to get into your house. Take action right away, call the police, change the locks for more reliable ones and think about installing an alarm.
Keep in mind that if you return home and find robbers, don’t try to scare them off or to catch them yourself. Your life is more valuable than anything else. Try to leave your home unnoticed and call the police.
Are you aware of any other signs of an upcoming theft? Please tell us about them in the comments!