It’s a common phrase that criminals often return to the scene of their crime, but for burglars, this actually appears to be the case. Statistics show that if you have been burgled once, it is quite likely to happen again, and likely to happen to your neighbours as well – often in a surprisingly short space of time. It seems counter-intuitive, but there are a number of reasons why a burglar might return to your home after a successful break-in.
Firstly, there is a simple fact that the first burglary was a success, which means your house was a good target. The break-in was not met by an alarm system, dogs, nosy neighbours, or any of the other things which might have made it unsuccessful. You are unlikely to have had time to remedy any of these things if the burglar returns quickly, and many people believe that if they have been victimised once, it will not happen again. You are also likely to have replaced essential equipment such as phones, etc., which means they have a second opportunity to take them.
Furthermore, a house which they have already broken into presents a known set of variables, rather than an unknown property, which could have all sorts of surprises. The burglar knows the layout of the house and has likely already done the work involved in finding out when it will be empty. They will know where your valuables are kept and how to access them and may have seen things which they did not have a chance to take on their first visit, but which they can grab on the second.
The most important factor they’ll know about your property is the way in and out. Burglars like to ensure they have a good exit, and they will know what worked last time. This in itself is a good reason for them to return, and even a reason to try neighbouring houses which look like they might have a similar layout. They will, of course, have realised that suspicious behaviour can pass unnoticed in the area, which makes them more tempted to target other properties.
Burglars may even have made it easier for themselves to return if an opportunity presented itself the first time around; you should check that no spare keys are missing, and make sure all the windows in the house are shut and locked, as they may have taken an opportunity to unlock one in an obscure area. If they know they are coming back and they can see a way to make entry easier, they will take it, so it’s worth checking your property over and making sure everything is secured.
It’s important to remember that if your house has been targeted once, it’s because someone saw a weak spot which tempted them in. Unless you work to improve your security and address the problems, you are quite likely to find yourself broken into repeatedly, possibly by different burglars all spotting the same opportunity or the same one returning.