Bicycles top the list of most in-demand items for burglars, shows new research

24th September 2015


While bicycles top burglars’ most-wanted lists, mobile phones and tablets are rapidly catching up according to new analysis from Direct Line.

Bicycles remain the item of choice among burglars, making up 17% of all theft claims handled by the insurer but mobiles have jumped from fifth to second place in the league table of most stolen items.

The analysis suggested that burglars are shifting their attention to next generation devices at the expense – or fortune – of others. Claims for laptops have dropped by 30% falling two places in the top 10.

In contrast, expensive tablets such as iPads have jumped up two places to fifth place, while mobile phones, come in second place overall, make up more than one in 10 of all theft claims.

Televisions round out the top 10 but the research reveals burglars’ propensity to steal these items is waning with claims for TVs dropping by more than a third, at 35% in just one year.

However given the ever increasing size of family televisions it is not surprising that burglars are leaving them behind.

Top 10 items favoured by burglars

Position Item stolen Percentage of total claims Change
1 Bicycles 17%
2 Mobile Phones 11% +3
3 Power tools 10%
4 Laptops 10% -2
5 Tablets 9% +2
6 Cameras 8% -2
7 Golf 7% -1
8 Gardening tools 7%
9 Audio equipment 5%
10 TVs 3%

Source: Direct Line Group, 2015

Winter is a burglar’s favourite time to work with a fifth of all claims, at 19%, occurring in January and February. Short, dark days mean there are more opportunities to strike, with gardens, sheds and garages being particularly targeted. That said even burglars take Christmas off, with claims in December dropping by 19% per cent).

Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line home insurance, said: “With the nights drawing in, it is perhaps unsurprising that thefts increase, as there are more opportunities for burglars to strike without being seen. Items such as bicycles, gardening tools and golf equipment are amongst the most sought-after items, so if items must be stowed away outside the home, homeowners should make sure they are safe and secure.

“It is also important to check that your insurance policy covers specific items such as sporting equipment left locked in the garden shed, as not all insurers cover this as standard. Items left at home while you’re out should be kept out of sight and it may be worth investing in extra security measures such as proximity alarms or security lights, to keep potential burglars at bay.”

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