Theft and vandalism are incredibly frustrating situations to deal with as a homeowner. They can happen at any time, but certain circumstances may cause them to occur more often. Read Klotzman Property Damage Law’s blog to learn more.
What are theft and vandalism?
Theft is the act of stealing another person’s property with the intention of permanently depriving them of access to it. Two main types of theft, grand theft and petty theft, are distinguished by the items taken and their monetary value. Petty theft, or “petit theft” as it’s sometimes referred to in Florida, constitutes items stolen whose value is under $750. Grand theft is defined as any theft where the goods stolen exceed $750 in value or if the stolen goods contain a firearm or vehicle.
Vandalism is the purposeful destruction or defacement of someone’s property. Most insurance plans offer some sort of coverage, although it is frequently referred to as “malicious and mischievous acts,” so ensure that you properly read through your policy. Vandalism can include a variety of acts, from egging a house to slashing tires or spray painting public property.
When do they occur most often?
These kinds of intentional property damage are among the most common and can occur year-round. However, there are a few times when they become more probable. Let’s take a look at some of the top situations.
During the Holidays
With many families traveling around the holiday season, would-be burglars and vandals have a better chance of getting away with their malicious acts. According to a travel survey by Deloitte, 31% of Americans plan to travel between Thanksgiving and mid-January, with trips after the new year often extending to over seven-day trips. These trips leave large windows where you or your neighbors could be out of town and unable to take additional action to protect their homes.
During the Day
Contrary to how they are often portrayed in the media, typical burglaries occur during daylight hours. According to the FBI, in 2021, 196,684 burglaries were reported at residences during the day, while there 154,723 were reported at night. This data coincides with work and school schedules when people are out of the house, allowing burglars to intrude without coming across any witnesses.
In the Summer
Although holiday trips are an important time to be wary, the majority of thefts occur in the summer. We often see a surge in all types of crimes each summer as more people are out, making it easier for people to be inconspicuous and get away faster. These potential burglars often stake out the target’s home before acting, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
Tips to prevent theft and vandalism
The process following a break-in can be complex and mentally exhausting. Let’s cover some tips to help prevent this type of property damage from happening to you.
Install a Home Security System
Alarm systems in your house can deter many burglars away. A Rutgers University study found that even one home security system can lower the odds of attempted theft in the area. A complete security system should have an alarm system, sensors at doors and windows, and a camera or cameras to monitor the property.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Try to keep curtains and blinds closed, as leaving them open allows people passing by to get an idea of what personal property you own and determine when you are out of the house. It’s also vital to keep expensive electronics and jewelry away from windows to lessen the chance of a quick break-in.
Don’t Publicize When Your House Is Vacant
While you may be excited to take a vacation, avoid posting on social media that you will be out of the house for long periods of time. Especially if your profiles are public, people can figure out when you will be gone and plan accordingly.
The Good News
Luckily, property crimes continue to fall, with 2021 having approximately 6 million reported, while 2001 had almost 10.5 million reports. Property damage crimes dropped 17% in Florida from 2019 to 2020. This number should continue to decrease as more families get home security systems and the current systems are upgraded. Motion-activated lights, external cameras, and more sensors inside the home are becoming more available, fending off even more criminals.
Speak to the professionals
Vandalism and theft are serious crimes that harm many Americans every year. If you’ve experienced this kind of property damage, it’s critical to file a police report, take photos, make a list, notify your insurance, and gather documentation. You’ll then need to focus on preventing this crime from happening again in the future.
It’s critical to take reasonable action. We can help you determine your options based on your insurance coverage. We will investigate, negotiate, and litigate your case to get you the results you deserve.
Schedule your free case review today with your Hollywood property damage attorney. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds.