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If Your Home Hasn't Been Broken Into, There's A Good Chance It Will Be

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:07 PM CDT

A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in America. It's estimated one out of every six homes will be broken into. While that's not very reassuring, what makes it worse is that if your belongings are stolen you have less than a 10 percent chance of ever getting them back.

Janisse Duarte came home from work to find a laptop computer, game console, money and jewelry gone.

“We thought we were safe,” said Duarte.

The mother of two says she was shocked not only by the crime, but by the timing.

“Nobody expects to get broken into during the day,” said Duarte.

But, the fact is 72 percent of burglaries occur when no one is home. Nationwide, break-ins are most likely to occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. And many criminals, 34 percent, walk in the front door.

“They either kick the door, or put a shoulder to the door,” said Jeffrey Thornton, a property crime tech for the Austin Police Department.

Typically what they take are TV's, computers, game consoles, cameras, phones, jewelry, and designer purses.

“We average 9,000 burglaries a year,” said Sgt. Robert Hester with APD.

Sgt. Hester says this year Austin police are making more arrests and recovering more stolen property. Two years ago he says police solved less than five percent of burglaries. That number is now up to eight percent which is still slightly below the national average.

“We need citizens to keep an eye on their neighborhood and report what they believe is suspicious in their neighborhood. If the citizens aren't looking out for that our chances of catching a daytime or nighttime burglar go down drastically,” said Sgt. Hester.

The chances of solving Janisse Duarte’s burglary are slim.

“The door was unlocked and she just went in,” said Thornton.

The victim unknowingly messed up much of the crime scene.

“I walked in, put my purse on the table, opened the curtains and touched all the doors and the window,” said Duarte.

She has insurance to replace her stuff, but there’s no insurance the burglar won't be back.

Janisse is going to install better locks on her windows and doors and possibly put in an alarm system. That will help because police say burglars almost always opt for the home that’s the easiest target.

On average people lose about $1,600 worth of belongings. That doesn't include the cost of repairing the home. Another potentially troubling fact is that about half of burglars live within two miles of the homes they break into.

By Bettie CrossIf Your Home Hasn't Been Broken Into, There's A Good Chance It Will Be


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