Burglars are put off stealing from posh houses with luxury cars on the drive because they fear the homes have better security.
The thieves make a straightforward business decision about their break-ins.
Burglars are more likely to break in to the modest, suburban semi home of Mr and Mrs Average than their richer neighbours.
They told researchers they pick cheaper houses as they have same opportunities to steal their favourite loot – cash, jewellery, alcohol and cigarettes followed by games consoles, BlackBerrys and iPhones – while having laxer security.
Most burglars avoid homes worth more than £600,000 because of the extra security risk and often decide on a target based on the value of the car parked on the drive.
Criminologists interviewed crooks charged with burglary for the study, commissioned by Halifax Insurance.
Average homes have rich pickings for thieves
They asked the burglars to rate homes to break in to from photographs. The more expensive the home, the less interest they showed.
The burglars also said they would avoid breaking in to homes with a Porsche, Jaguar or Land Rover parked outside as these suggest the homeowner has good security or someone is home more often.
Thieves are more likely to strike homes with cars on the drive like a Vauxhall Vectra, Ford Mondeo or Volkswagen.
Martyn Foulds, of Halifax Home Insurance, said: “Desirable items should be kept out of sight and preferably in safe locations.”
One burglar said: “There’s no point in going for rich houses because they’ve only got the same stuff as ordinary houses but it’s harder to find because there’s more rooms plus they’ve got better security. You want somewhere that is nice but not too nice.”
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