Burglars operate with or without the corona crisis[Dagmar Gilden | 19.08]
Despite the fact that, due to the coronavirus crisis, many people have decided to go on holiday right here in Estonia and spend more time at home and in summer cottages, new insurance statistics show that burglars are operating as usual.
“Despite the crisis and people’s tendency to stay at home,,” says Dagmar Gilden, Asset Insurance Product Manager at Seesam, “burglars seem to be just as active this year as during previous summers.”
According to the insurer, the theft rate increases every year at the start of spring when people start to prepare for the summer and take valuable tools and objects to their summer cottages. Most of the thefts in city residences take place from Thursday to Sunday when it is most likely that the residents are away from home.
The easiest catch for burglars and thieves are bicycles that get snatched from basements, auxiliary buildings and outside stores. “We can’t really say that any one place clearly stands out,” says Gilden. “If it is not secured, it will be taken.” The most expensive bicycle that was taken this summer is worth around 1000 euros, but previous indemnification cases have covered even more valuable bicycles, some of which cost as much as 6000 euros.
In addition to bicycles, burglars also take tools, lawn mowers and strimmers from sheds and garages as these are easy to resell. During summer and national holidays, burglars raid city residences, taking cash, bank cards, computers, cameras, jewellery and other valuables. One of the largest insurance cases this summer involved the theft of brand clothing items, technology and other valuables from the home with a total value of nearly 40,000 euros. “This case goes to show that people tend to underestimate the value of their assets at home,” said Seesam’s representative, highlighting what people often fail to consider when entering into home insurance contracts. “The sum insured with the insurance contract was nearly as large as the indemnity Seesam paid, but homes also contain furniture, electronics and many other things of value that burglars would love to get their hands on.”
“To make burglary cases as unlikely as possible,” said Gilden, following up with some recommendations on how to make sure your home and property is safe, “it is important for people to be aware of potential risks and take preventive measures.”
Close all windows and doors when leaving your summer cottage or house, even if the weather is hot – and remember to lock any auxiliary buildings. Remember that the lock should correspond to the amount and value of the items in the auxiliary building. It is never a good idea to leave the keys under the doormat or flower pot or in the mailbox – this is where burglars look first. If you often use a bicycle in the summer months, it is best to invest in a good-quality bike lock and learn to use it. Remember to lock your bicycle when going for visits or even during quick trips to the store.
“The easiest way for a burglar to enter a house is through an open window or balcony or through doors with low-quality locks,” lists Gilden, adding that breaking down doors and windows is becoming more and more common. According to the insurer, it is often the owners themselves who open doors or windows for burglars. Private residences usually have more than one entry and it is not uncommon to leave the door on the other side of the house unlocked when going about business in the garden or sauna house. Gilden says that in their work they often see burglars taking advantage of this opportunity. For this reason, she recommends locking the front door even when doing some gardening.
As the summer comes to an end and people leave their country cottages, it is a good idea to bring along the most valuable tools and machinery and make sure all valuables are safely locked away and out of sight.