The Most Common Household Crimes—And How to Protect Yourself in 2020

What's the best way to protect against household crime? Arm yourself with awareness and knowledge, and implement these suggestions for crime prevention in 2020.

Getting Tough on Crime

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Protecting against household crime

The good news: In the United States, rates for most crimes have fallen in recent years. Property theft, however, is still going strong, with more than 7 million cases that cost an estimated $16.4 billion in 2018 alone. While numbers haven’t yet been released for 2019, we’ve tracked down the crime trends you should watch and safety precautions you can put into effect in 2020.

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Larceny Is #1

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How to protect against household larceny

Larceny refers specifically to any theft of personal property without the use of force. According to USA Today, larceny accounted for 71.7 percent of total property crimes in 2017. High tourism rates, income inequality, and poverty are all correlated with larceny in American cities.

Related: Your Most Common Home Security Questions, Answered

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Burglary Is #2

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Preventing burglary at home

Burglary—breaking and entering a property with the intent to commit a crime—accounted for 18.2 percent of property crimes in 2017. This number has dropped 11.9 percent in the last year, according to the FBI, but you still need to be extra cautious, especially when you’ll be away from home.

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Most Home Burglaries Happen During the Day

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Most Home Burglaries Happen During the Day

It is a misconception that most home burglaries happen at night. In fact, your home is at greatest risk between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when people are likely to be out and about. Theft peaks in the summer months, when more people are away on vacation.

Related: 12 Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Package Theft

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Watch Your Vehicle

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Prevent vehicle theft

Coming in at third place, after larceny and burglary, is motor vehicle theft, which constitutes about 10 percent of American property crime. Auto theft saw a 3 percent decline in 2018, but that doesn’t mean you should let down your guard.

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Don’t Rely on Just Your Car Alarm

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Protect car against break in

A car is stolen in the United States about every minute. While taking simple precautions can help, such as parking in a safe, well-lighted area and keeping valuables out of sight, technology can also be a valuable ally. Digital Trends reports on five of the best anti-theft devices, including a kill switch for your car that can frustrate a thief and send him off in search of easier prey.

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Violence Can Hit Home

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Prevent home violence

Sadly, every violent act that happens on the streets happens at home too. The Bureau of Justice reports that roughly a third of violent crimes are committed near a person’s home. The good news is, violent crime is trending down, with the exception of rape, which increased nearly 3 percent in 2018.

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Common Sense Is Your Best Protection

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Protect home with common sense

In your quest to keep your home safe, the best precautions are also the simplest. Always lock doors and secure windows, and install simple alarms and motion-sensing lights, which are great deterrents.

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Stop Hiding Keys

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Don't hide keys

Hiding an extra key under the mat may seem like a great convenience, but it's an awful idea. Don't put your property at risk—use a lockbox instead. Mofut’s Key Lockbox has garnered an almost perfect 5-star rating on Amazon, and at $19.99 it's a safe, effective spot for spare keys.

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Invest in Home Security

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Invest in Home Security

If you’re often away from home, or if you simply want the added peace of mind that a home security system affords, check out Simplisafe. You can install the system yourself, and it doesn't require a contract.

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Community Counts

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Safe home safe community

Crime tends to be lower in neighborhoods where people know each other well enough to recognize suspicious interlopers and dodgy behavior. Become part of your community. Get to know your neighbors, ask them to keep an eye out for your property when you’re away from home, and offer to do the same for them.

Related: 10 Easy Ways You Can Be a Better Neighbor

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Don't Miss!

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Money-saving, time-saving—and yes, sometimes even life-saving—the latest and greatest smart home technologies span from self-programming thermostats to voice-activated TV controls to video doorbells and beyond. Raise your home's IQ!