I’m an ex-burglar – 5 common mistakes you make when leaving home that attract thieves… & the issue with video doorbells | The Sun
OVER a million British homes have been broken into in the past five years, but there are ways to stop yourself being next.
Lennox Rodgers knows exactly what burglars are looking out when seeking an easy target – because he used to be a thief himself.
The former criminal, who spent 21 years in prison, is now a security expert helping members of the public to keep their property safe.
He thinks that the cost of living crisis will drive up burglaries as opportunists look for ways to make easy cash.
Lennox warns: “There's crazy people out there, very desperate people, especially with the cost of living. I think that crime has gone up because people need to survive and they're stealing what they can.”
Here, he shares the common mistakes people make when out of the house in holiday season – and how to keep safe.
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Lennox says: “If you are a career criminal you need to get your information right. Pubs are a great place to hang around in and get chatting with people because after a few drinks, some people get a bit careless with what they're saying.
“The most common mistakes people make when they go on holidays?They tell people they're going away.
“During my years in and out of prison, prisoners used to do tear off the address when they got letters and destroy it. Because their cellmate might read the address, and – if they're getting out before them – they will go and burgle it.”
Lennox says: “Holidaymakers post all over social media and whilst they're away they're putting up pictures, so people can see where they are.
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"And burglars know that the property where they live is empty. It's a very easy trap that people fall into.
"Whilst they're away, they see some nice scenery, the beautiful weather, and post it on social media, so people know you're not at home.”
Fake food cans
Don't go stashing your cash under the mattress – criminals know all the best places to search.
To hide your valuables properly when away, Lennox suggests getting creative.
He reveals: “There are fake cans of food and beans which you can put jewellery and money in, and some burglars are unaware that that's where your money is.
“It looks like a tin of beans, but actually it's like a little piggy bank. I think it's quite useful!"
Video doorbell problem
While an increasing number of homeowners are installing security systems and video doorbells, Lennox says it's not enough to deter thieves.
With cops solving just over five per cent of burglaries, not only can video systems be of limited use, but crooks are also targeting areas with low prosecution rates.
Lennox says: “The sad thing is that many people have reported that they’ve shown their security footage to the police and still nothing was done.
"So burglars are getting wise to the fact that some police forces aren't really answering burglary calls, it's not always seen as a priority."
Remember car keys!
Holidaymakers' best chance is to simply do the basics right – and remember to lock everything despite this summer's sunny weather.
Lennox advises: “In this hot weather where it's been quite humid and difficult to sleep, people have been a bit more lax with their security because they're hot.
“They're falling asleep with the doors or windows open because the hot weather makes you sleepy."
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When going away, make sure that any windows left open in the hot weather are firmly shut.
Lennox also says criminals will "go for the car keys" – so make sure to take them with you, rather than leave them in the drawer back home!
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