HAVING your home burgled is many peoples worst fear.
So, when these theives and burglars shared some of their secrets online, it grabbed a huge amount of attention.
Taking to Reddit, the former criminals told people what to do to safeguard their homes.
On the forum, former thieves and those who have been victims of burglary came together to reveal the best hiding places for valuables.
At the beginning of the thread, one Reddit user shared their unusual tip for warding off potential break-ins.
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The poster recommended: "Glue a spare key (not one that opens something important) under your door mat. Weird right?"
A fake key under your doormat will deter thieves because they will immediately feel 'rumbled', so will be unlikely to go any further into your property as you most likely have further 'booby traps' prepared to catch them out.
The savvy safety fan explained: "A few years ago I did this in addition to installing cameras.
"Over the last couple of years I've seen this exact scenario play out: thief walks to the door, checks under the mat, unsuccessfully tries to grab the key, backs up, looks around to see if anyone is watching (presumably because they think they have fallen for some trap/prank where they are being surveilled), and LEAVES.
"They don't even search for another way in because it spooks them."
If a thief does get into your house, even safes aren't a fool-proof option when it comes to break-ins, as one burglar admitted that it was the first thing they went for.
So, the forum moved on to sharing where the best place to hide valuables was.
One woman suggested two strange hiding places, saying: "Former crime reporter here. Tampon box and kitty litter are good. I've also seen false outlets that are safe as a safe."
Plenty of posters recommended getting real or fake cameras, and 'Beware of the dog' signs to deter burglars further.
Many also agreed that a messier home was a better sign that someone was home as a super tidy house made it look like the family were away on holiday.
Proving a lack of tidiness can pay off, one wrote: "Someone broke into my family's house and checked everything – took all money and jewelry they could find.
"Except my room, which was a mess to begin with. I had 800€ and golden earrings on my desk, just sitting there. The burglars opened the doors. and didn't move a thing."
Agreeing, another had a similar experience, saying: 'Had my house burglarized by a so-called friend. He missed by far the most valuable thing. it’s just a safe sitting on the laundry room floor. He missed it because I’m a scumbag and had it covered with a mountain of dirty clothes and towels. So not being tidy saved me upwards of $35K."
The long thread ended by warning home owners not to share holiday posts on social media in real time to avoid sharing the house is vacant, and investing in automatic lighting so the house looks like someone is home.
Just like Kevin McCallister did in Home Alone.
They said not to store keys by the door, because: "The amount of stolen cars where the burglar takes one step into the house, picks up the keys to the family car and leaves immediately is just sad."
A former carjacker warned people to never save your address as 'home' in your car's sat nav because then the thief could grab your home keys AND your car keys and the car would easily lead them to rob your empty home.
Those concerned with their home safety flocked to the thread, as it got thousands of comments and attention.
The run-up to Christmas can amp up peoples anxiety over home safety as many of us store high-value items with the intention of gifting them to loved ones on Christmas day.
A former burglar highlighted the importance of keeping your doors, windows and sheds locked.
He also told people to plant flowers with thorns under windows.
The burglar said: "Any safe that's not bolted down and is small enough for 1-2 people to carry isn't safe at all."
For more, here are Five tricks burglars use to target your home before breaking in from chalk markings to kidney beans dumped at your door
To, Ex-burglars reveal how they pick a house to target – from lighting clues to leaving the bins out
And even more, check out this burglar broke into home, tried on victim’s clothes and did some housework and DIY
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