Laois Offaly Gardai have some good Christmas anti-theft advice that can be used any time of year to stop burglary from your home.
A key tactic in burglary prevention is avoidance - not just alarming your property. For example: chain up your wheelie bin to a fence away from your house. A burglar will stand on a wheelie bin to get into the first floor of your house.
Here are the other tips issued by Crime Prevention Officer Graham Kavanagh:
• Join your local Neighbourhood Watch/ Community Alert.
• Secure your front door and make sure your windows have window locks.
• Fix broken garden gates.
• Put a wire basket on the inside of your letter box. This prevents burglars from fishing for keys through the letterbox.
Keep suitcases and bags in the attic, or with their handles tied together. Otherwise a thief will use those very bags to transport items out of your house.
• Keep windows and doors shut and locked, even when you are at home. A thief will burgle your property even when someone is inside, for example, when they see a bathroom light go on.
•Use an alarm if you have one even if you’re leaving the home for a short period of time.
•In winter, burglaries increase by 25%.
•Over 40% of burglaries in winter occur between 5pm and 11pm.
•In 20% of burglaries, entry is through an unsecured door or window.
•Jewellery and cash are the most common articles stolen during burglaries.
• There were over 200 cases where car keys where
“fished” through the letterbox in the past year.