Burglars sneaking around the living room at Christmas

Burglars sneaking around the living room at Christmas

Householders in UK were warned yesterday to beware of burglars sneaking around the living room at Christmas.

Some 70,600 homes will be raided for their stashes of presents over the festive season, according to research by More Th>n Home Insurance.

The data, based on interviews with reformed ex-burglars, also pinpoints the time over the Christmas period when the common house thief is most likely to strike: During a 23-minute window between 1.55 a.m. and 2.18 a.m. on Christmas Day.

Some 84 per cent of ex-crooks say opportunities to steal increase greatly over the Christmas period.

This is caused by: British people over-indulging on alcohol and being less vigilant with home security (26 per cent), a naïve and trusting festive spirit (26 per cent) and extended trips to family and friends resulting in houses left empty and unguarded (10 per cent).

In addition, our propensity to overspend on Christmas gifts also means that houses not considered fruitful enough at other times of year suddenly become targets in December.

Ex-thieves say almost half (44 per cent) of intruders head straight for the Christmas tree with a very clear idea of what they are looking for.

And eight per cent of mean-spirited thieves will steal actual Christmas trees.

Recommended tips to protect people’s homes and gifts include not leaving presents out on display in insecure places (e.g. bicycles in garden sheds), leaving a light on when going out and not using social media websites to update friends and associates of one’s whereabouts.

Research was carried out among 50 convicted, reformed burglars by The Survey Shop in June.