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The Most Common Types of Burglary in Australia

Burglar trying to open door with a crowbar

Burglary is an unfortunate fact of life in all societies. Having home and contents insurance is a great piece of mind however, knowledge of the most common forms of criminal activity can help in prevention.

Small business

The most common type of burglary in Australia is break-ins committed on commercial premises, most often small businesses such as shops and light industry. A sometimes limited cash flow can mean they have little or no security. Repeat burglaries are not uncommon in such circumstances.

Thieves often look for cash, electronics, cigarettes, alcohol and anything that can be easily sold with anonymity.


The second most common form of burglary is theft from residential dwellings. The most common time for a burglary to occur is during the day while the home’s occupants are away. Burglars often target phones, computers, jewellery and anything that can be easily removed and sold.


Because a burglar doesn’t want to risk being caught, the more difficult a homeowner makes it for them to break in, the less likely they are to do so. Preventative measures that can reduce your chances of being burgled include:

  • Locking doors and windows whenever you go out, even if you are just popping down the street for a minute (opportunistic thefts account for a large percentage of residential burglaries).
  • Having a neighbour collect your mail and give the appearance that your home is occupied when you go on holiday (and reciprocating the favour).
  • Never leaving keys under mats or notes on the door indicating your whereabouts.
  • Fixing broken latches and replacing insecure locks that could provide easy access for a burglar.
  • Trimming back trees and shrubs from the front of your home so that burglars have nowhere to hide while attempting to break in.
  • Locking sheds and outbuildings, particularly if they contain tools that could be used to assist with a burglary.
  • Installing motion-sensor lighting in your driveway and near your paths to scare off anyone lurking outside.
  • Installing an alarm system or CCTV cameras and displaying your security company’s sticker in your front window.
  • Joining your local Neighbourhood Watch and being aware of what is happening in your community and immediate neighbourhood.

The chance of falling victim to a burglary depend largely on the security measures you follow. The more precautions you take, the less likely you are to come home to find your treasured possessions stolen or your home damaged.