Why Does Property Theft Increase in the Winter Season?
Winter brings a lot of headaches, from seasonal depression and bitterly cold temperatures to icy roadways, traffic jams, and travel nightmares. But did you know the risk of property theft goes up in the winter? Keep reading to learn more about increased stealing in the winter season and how LandAirSea (LAS) can help you stop these Grinches in their tracks through a range of discreet and easy-to-use location-tracking devices. You’ll also learn what’s behind the uptick in property theft in the winter so you can take the proper steps to prevent it.
The Prevalence of Property Theft in Winter
What’s behind the increased stealing in the winter season?
According to a classic study, “The Influence of the Seasons on the Crime Rate,” crimes against people happen more often in the summer, and crimes against property are more prevalent in the winter. Scholars have argued that this is because human needs increase in the winter from the heightened pressure that comes with the season — holiday spending, the necessity of finding reliable transportation and shelter during freezing temperatures, and how hard it becomes to survive outside during the bitter cold. This causes people to go to extreme measures — and often steal — to ensure those needs are met, leading to an increase in car, food, and property theft.
Bills also become more expensive in the winter months as the cost of electricity and energy to heat our homes skyrocket. In fact, one study found that 20% of Americans struggled to pay their full energy bill in 2020, with 18% reporting keeping their homes at unhealthy or unsafe temperatures due to concerns about cost. There’s also the need for more clothing — winter coats, hats, gloves, boots, etc. — which many people cannot afford. These factors lead to more crimes motivated by people needing money.
So-called “warm-up theft” — when thieves target unattended cars that are warming up — is a widespread crime in the winter months.
To avoid this, make sure you lock your car if you have to leave it unattended, try to stay nearby so you can keep an eye on it, and make sure you remove all valuables from your car before you park it and leave it.
You can also place the LandAirSea 54 with ShareSpot location sharing and tracking system in your vehicle to ensure you know where it is at all times. That way, if it does get stolen, you will have a real-time view of where the car is so you can alert the police and recoup your property — and catch the bad guys at work. ShareSpot even has historical reporting that shows the number of stops, location, and idle time, as well as a unique feature that allows you to share the device location with your family, friends, and whomever else you choose.
Sun Sets Earlier
Another factor contributing to increased property theft in winter is the fact that it gets darker earlier, giving thieves more time to lurk in the shadows and commit their crimes without being seen. There are also typically fewer people strolling around outside in the winter, meaning fewer people to witness crimes.
The LandAirSea Overdrive with SharespotTM Location Sharing and Tracking System is another LAS device you can use to keep an eye on the whereabouts of your property. Like the LAS 54, this device will give you real-time updates about the location of your property to help you recover it sooner. You can even turn the device’s lights off, so thieves don’t notice it all, or you can keep the lights on to deter thieves. The Overdrive also features historical reporting and the ability to share the location with friends, family, and colleagues.
Preventing Property Theft in Winter
In addition to the help of LAS, there are a few other measures you can take to keep your belongings safe during the increased stealing in the winter season, including:
- Use surveillance cameras outside of your home, garage, shed, and any other areas where you store valuables.
- Use motion detector lights. These lights, which turn on when movement is detected, are a great way to scare thieves away.
- Keep your lights on — especially when you’re not home. This makes it look like someone is home and will keep thieves away. If you’re going to be gone for an extended time and don’t want to run your electricity the whole time, use light timers to automatically turn on the lights (and even the TV) when it gets dark. This helps with the illusion that you are home.
- Consider investing in a home security system.
- Keep your driveway, walkways, and sidewalks shoveled. When they’re not shoveled, thieves may think you are not home and will take advantage of the absence.
- Lock your doors. Many thieves look for crimes of opportunity; simply locking your doors can deter them instantly.
- Watch your trash/recycling. Avoid leaving boxes from holiday presents that show what’s inside — like TVs and other electronics and appliances — on your curb for garbage/recycling collection for long periods. When you do this, you are literally advertising to thieves what expensive items are inside your home. Instead, take the boxes to the curb right before the garbage truck arrives, or take them to a dumpster yourself.
A good point to remember is that most thieves are not looking for confrontation; they are looking for opportunity. So doing what you can to deter them through the use of lights, cameras, and tracking devices is an excellent way to keep them away and keep your valuable belongings safe.