Crime diary : Locked houses vulnerable to break-ins, finds survey

Police second study saying trend of isolation contributing factors behind increased burglaries


Shazia Mehboob September 28, 2015
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ISLAMABAD: If you think your locked house makes it difficult for burglars to break-in, you are wrong. Your locked house is as vulnerable or even more vulnerable to a burglary.

In most cases, burglars will look for certain clues when they survey a house to see how easy it will be to get into despite the fact that you have done all your best to secure it from break-ins.



According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, public perception regarding a robbery or theft in locked houses has also increased over the years with most respondents saying that “if a person leaves his house locked for a few days, a house becomes more vulnerable to be struck by thieves or burglars” as compared to a house which is occupied.

According to the survey conducted across the country in September this year, 10 per cent of respondents said an incident of theft was certain if a person leaves the house locked for a few days, 26 per cent said there was a very high possibility of a burglary, 23 per cent said there was a slight possibility, 20 per cent said there was very little possibility and 15 per cent said there was no possibility of theft while six per cent did not respond.

Bhara Kahu police SHO Zulfiqar Ali also agreed that chances of thefts in locked houses increase as compared to houses which remain occupied.

Ali, who has 30 years experience in investigating crime, said a house locked from the outside with lights switched off has more chances of being burgled as compared to houses where some activity goes on. He said people should apprise their neighbours of their absence from the neighbourhood.

“A house locked from outside is a clear signal for criminals that the house is unoccupied,” he said while urging the citizens to come out of self-centeredness and isolation by interacting with their neighbours to take collective responsibility for the safety of their neighbourhood.

“Many people in a neighbourhood do not bother to check any unusual or suspicious activities in the surrounding,” he said, adding a few days ago burglars barged into a locked house in Sector F-11 and made away with valuables while the immediate neighbours were completely unaware of the episode.

“The only defence the family had left behind was a pet dog which was shot dead by the robbers while none of the neighbours bothered to check who fired the gunshots,” he said.

Another police official, while requesting anonymity, said more burglaries occur in houses located in closed streets or surrounded by bushes.

He also blamed the media’s investigative programme on theft and burglary cases for a rise in crime saying “the tricks or modus operandi told by narrators of such programmes is often copied or imitated by youngsters to commit petty crimes.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2015.

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