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Monday 22 September 2014

Garda warning: In warmer weather, 30 per cent of house burglaries take place via unsecured doors or windows

*Almost one third of burglaries occur between 5pm and 8pm
*Jewellery and cash are most common items stolen during burglaries
*In warmer weather, 30% of house burglaries take place via unsecured doors or windows
*Over 100 cases of keys being "fished” through letterboxes in last six months of 2103
*Gardai provide top tips to protect your home from burglary

Published 12/03/2014 | 11:19

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Over half of burglars enter homes through front or back doors, gardai have warned.

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Over 50 per cent of burglars enter homes either through the front or back door, according to the latest figures from An Garda Síochána.

Garda analysis released today shows that the main entry points by burglars to houses are through a rear window (28pc), front door (27pc), and rear door (25pc). 

The figures were launched today at the launch of its National Crime Prevention Day of Action, which is promoting a range of measures that householders can take to secure their homes against the threat of burglary.

While the latest CSO figures show a 8.9pc fall in the level of burglary and related offences between June 2012 and June 2013 compared to the previous 12 months, gardai are advising people to remain vigilant and security conscious in order to thwart burglars.

"Burglars will tend to go for what they view as easy targets – houses with no lights on, no alarm, or unsecured doors and windows."

"So it is critical for householders to secure all doors and windows, light up their homes even when out, and have an alarm and turn it on even when at home,” said Sgt Kelvin Courtney of the National Crime Prevention Unit.

Householders are also advised to ensure that valuables are out of sight and large amounts of cash are not kept in the house as jewellery and cash accounted for 75pc of the property stolen in burglaries in the last six months of 2013.

This jewellery and cash had a value of approximately €10.7m.

The time of the year can also influence how and when burglars seek to enter homes. In winter, up to 20pc of burglaries occur during twilight hours when homes can look unoccupied.

While in summer months, burglaries are more likely to take place through unsecured doors and windows.

Burglaries can occur at any time throughout the day with over 30pc taking place between 5pm and 8pm, and 15pc occurring overnight during the past six months.

An Garda Síochána is also advising people that "fishing” - which sees burglars place implements such as adapted fishing rods through letterboxes to "fish” car and house keys from hall tables - can result in houses being easily entered or cars being stolen from outside the house.

There were over 100 cases where car keys were "fished” through letterboxes between July and December last year. 

Gardai are recommending that people take the following steps to reduce the chances of their home being burglarised:

  • Secure all doors and windows
  • Light up your home and use timer switches on lights for when you are out
  • Store key safely and away from windows and letterboxes
  • Record details of valuable and don’t keep large cash amounts at home
  • Use your alarm, even when you are at home

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