Homeowners Beware: 15 Most-Stolen Items Thieves Target First

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Have you ever been a victim of a home invasion? Those who have know it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. You feel like you were violated in a place where you should feel the most safe.

Sadly, bad people ruin the joy of good people every day by stealing their belongings. Whether they’re looking for quick cash or a way to steal your identity, it’s smart to understand how these criminals act and know ways to protect you and your home.

These are considered the most coveted items for a burglar to snatch, with some suggestions to thwart their evil plans.

1. Cell Phone

Stealing mobile
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Cell phones are easy to grab and go, even in public spaces. Leaving your phone on the counter for a split second can be all a crook needs to steal it.

Not only will you be without a cell phone, but these devices usually have a lot of personal information on them. This leaves you vulnerable to clever criminals who can access your social media and bank accounts and even find out where you live.

Never leave your phone unattended, but if you do lose it, turn off your service and alert the authorities.

2. Bicycles

Bicycle garage
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Bicycles are an easy target for thieves because they include a quick getaway. If someone is walking by and sees a bike in a garage, it can be gone in an instant, and will likely be sold or scrapped for parts.

Invest in a durable U-lock and attach it to something in your garage or balcony that cannot be broken off or cut open with bolt cutters. Keep the serial number and owner’s manual handy to prove ownership if you spot it in a local pawn shop.

3. Golf Clubs

Golf clubs drivers
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Golf clubs are pricey and fetch a pretty penny on the used sporting goods market. There’s no conventional way to lock up your clubs as you can with a bike, so they’re easy to steal.

Your best bet is to keep them out of plain sight. Thieves are crafty and can spot expensive goods even if they’re tucked away in the corner of your garage. Your best bet is to stash clubs inside, in a closet.

4. Personal Documents

Personal Documents
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Personal documents hold valuable information that people can use to find your Social Security number and steal your identity. Identity theft can ruin your credit and follow you around like a dark cloud for years.

When you’re finished with all financial and personal paperwork, destroy it with a paper shredder. Keep your passports, birth certificates, and Social Security cards in a safe or locked filing cabinet.

5. Liquor and Wine

Wine bottles
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Although burglars look for certain things, if they come across your liquor collection, they may help themselves to a night of boozing. They need something to take the edge off a life of crime and debauchery.

If you keep expensive liquor or wine in the house, consider investing in a locked liquor cabinet. This is also useful when your friends come over and try to drink all the good stuff without asking.

6. Designer Fashion Goods

Fashionable girl wearing a Chanel bag
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Burglars might have poor taste in fashion, but they know the expensive brands. Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior are brands that can easily be re-sold, making them a target for theft.

Security experts advise mixing everyday clothing with expensive brand-name pieces. For extra camouflage, you can also bury your handbags in bottom drawers under extra linens or bathroom towels.

7. Tools

Electric tool kit
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Crooks often raid construction sites or trucks for expensive tools that can easily be pawned for quick cash. Power tools are usually highly sought after and are hard to track once they’re gone.

Installing a heavy-duty toolbox in your truck bed is the safest way to avoid this nightmare. These steel boxes are designed to keep even the smartest thieves from breaking in. In addition to that, a quality tool shed can house your home tools and keep them safe from break-ins.

8. Firearms

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Guns are one of the easiest items to sell, and the demand for them by street criminals makes them a hot item. While there are many responsible gun owners who rely on a safe for securing their guns, others leave their firearms in drawers where they can be snatched in a break-in.

Remember to register your weapons and report theft to the police immediately. This is extremely important if a gun falls into the wrong person’s hands.

9. Computers/Laptops

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These used to be some of the most common devices stolen, but due to the increase in passwords and cyber security, they’re now less desirable to crooks. Still, burglars can and will take laptops and computers in a break-in.

Make sure your computer devices are always locked with a secure passcode. Never store personal financial information on them;, and always keep track of your serial numbers.

10. Televisions/Gaming Consoles

Man playing video game PlayStation 5 Sony
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It might be hard to run out of a house carrying a 50-inch television, but a desperate burglar may try. People fail to save their electronic serial numbers, making them impossible to trace. If the robber pawns the TV and you have the correct documents, you can get it back. Unfortunately, less than 5% of stolen equipment is returned because people cannot prove the item is theirs.

11. Jewelry

Jewelry ring
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Expensive jewelry is small, making it an easy target. It’s simply to grab something and walk away with it. Plus, it can be turned for a profit by any place that buys gold, silver, or precious metals.

Stop stashing your necklaces and watches in the back of your sock drawer. That’s the first place a burglar will look. Your safest option is to get a safe deposit box at your bank. This ensures 24-hour protection for your most precious pieces.

12. Art

Wall hanging
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Valuable wall art can be a hard sell on the streets, but that won’t stop a money-hungry miscreant from trying.

If you keep valuable art in your home, keep a detailed log of your pieces, where you bought them from, and how much they’re worth. Add them to your home’s insurance policy to cover you from theft.

13. Prescription Drugs

Medicine cabinet
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Many criminals break in looking for items they can sell to feed their addiction. That’s why so many thieves raid the medicine cabinet. They’re looking for a quick fix or pills they can sell on the street.

Keep your prescription pills either on you or in a locked drawer. When you finish a bottle, trash the labeling so crooks can’t access your prescriptions.

14. Automobiles

Stealing car
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Car theft is still a common crime in the United States. Thieves look for cars in which they can joy-ride around town, do drugs in, or sell to a chop shop for parts.

If you park your car on the street, avoid leaving valuables in plain sight. This makes your car an easy target for a smashed-in window or becoming a victim of grand theft.

Adding alarms, GPS tracking devices, or kill switches are the best methods to deter thieves and get your car back as soon as possible.

15. Cash

Stealing cash
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Of all the things a burglar wants from your home, cash is king. It’s untraceable, doesn’t need a third party to make a profit, and is convenient for a painless getaway.

Stop hiding large amounts of cash under your mattress or in a shoe box in the closet. These criminals know exactly where to look.

Your money should be in the bank, where it is secure and insured, instead of folded up in an envelope taped underneath your sink.


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