Take a walk down around your neighborhood on recycling day and take a look at the boxes people are throwing out. You might be surprised to learn what sort of goodies your neighbors have recently acquired. So might burglars.
Burglars will target houses based on a number of factors, the main ones being:
- Are the residents gone?
- Is there an alarm?
- Are there attentive neighbors?
- Does the house have good stuff to steal?
Burglars tend to steal stuff in order to sell it for the money. Items that are easy to carry and easy to pawn are what they want. Cash, wallets, jewelry rank pretty high for them. But so do consumer electronics.
Most people have electronics and few people register them or even record the serial numbers. So the risk of getting caught pawning them across town is low.
To be honest, in my nice neighborhood, the chances of finding good stuff to steal in any random house is high. But you don’t need to make it easy for them to know for sure. Don’t advertise your goodies.
My neighbor with the Pioneer 1022-K receiver and a XBox 360 w/ Kinect poking out the top of the recycling container and a box from a 40″ LCD (I didn’t photograph it) on the ground next to the container was broadcasting ownership of some $800-1000 of easily fence-able consumer electronics (plus the home doesn’t have an alarm system sign and is situated in a quiet bedroom community).
Take a little extra time to break down and cut up boxes and put them inside your recycling containers. If you just put out bundled cardboard, put the exterior faces of boxes facing the inward so you’d have to break open the bundle to see what the boxes were from.
Make burglars work a little harder to figure out what you own. Every little thing you do encourages the bad guys to go to move on to easier pickings.