It’s the holiday season again, and you’re thinking of locking up the house and getting away from it all with the family.
Trouble is, there’s also a good chance a burglar will make off with all that’s in your house while you were gone.
House break-in statistics for the city say May, October and November are the cruelest months: there were a record-breaking 302 break-ins in Mumbai in May 2008, and Diwali (October, November) has registered more than 200 break-ins over the past three years.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Himanshu Roy stresses that houses are especially prone to break-ins and thefts during the holiday months, when families tend to take vacations.
To get the scoop on which houses are likely to be empty, burglars usually consult those having daily business in the apartment complex: vegetable vendors, courier men, sometimes even building watchmen.
“Summer holidays are usually worse, but Diwali has its fair share of break-ins,” Roy adds. Festival time is especially dangerous because while some houses are locked, with their occupants away, other house owners get busy sprucing up their homes, giving burglars the ideal cover for carrying out their operations.
So how do you guard against a house break-in? The best protection is to follow some basic rules: Ensure your watchmen’s antecedents are thoroughly checked, and that the building watchmen do not allow anyone inside the compound without registering themselves first.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deven Bharti stresses it is up to the housing complex to keep a close watch on those who enter the compound. Keeping track of frequent visitors will also make investigations easier. “We’ve distributed awareness circulars about the menace. It’s up to the building management to keep their guard up,” he added.