To the home-owner who proudly displays his Neighbourhood Watch sticker, buys the best security gadgets and leaves the packaging of his latest acquisition out for the binmen, vigilance is clearly in evidence.

But to the career burglar, he might as well have left the door open with directions to his nearest valuables pinned to the handle.
According to a Home Office study of convicted burglars, most return to a home they have previously broken into and few believe that they are likely to be caught. More than half of the 82 convicted burglars interviewed by researchers knew who lived in the property they were burgling, and a significant number kept a watch on household rubbish to see whether there were any new electrical goods worth stealing.

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