RAC is urging Western Australians to be vigilant when it comes to securing their homes, after it has reported a spike in the number of home burglaries this financial year.

RAC Insurance Home Claims Manager, Glen Walker, says there has been a 25% increase in the number of home burglaries for the July and August period this year, compared to the same two-month period in 2014.

“Last year, RAC Insurance received 385 home contents theft claims for the July and August period,” Mr Walker said.

“This year, there have been 480 home contents theft claims for that same period. That’s approximately a 25% increase compared to the same time last year.

“We have also seen the average cost of contents theft claims increase by about $400 per claim this financial year. This equates to an extra $95,000 worth of items being stolen every month.

“Our advice to Western Australians is to always lock up your home. Lock your doors and windows, even when you’re home, and install quality deadlocks and security screens. Be aware that opportunistic thieves are on the look-out for easy targets, often entering through unlocked doors and taking portable items within seconds.

“We’d also remind people to keep garden sheds and workshops locked as power tools are at a high risk of being stolen. Tradesmen should be extra vigilant to secure tools that are carried in motor vehicles.

“Don’t make it easy for thieves by leaving spare keys in obvious places like under doormats or in flowerpots. Instead, leave spare keys with a trusted neighbour, friend or family member.

“And if possible, install a home security system and use the window stickers that come with your system to warn potential thieves that there is an alarm system in place.”

WA Police have also noticed an increase in the number of home burglaries in the Perth metro area, reporting that home burglaries are up by a total of 13.3% in July 2015 compared to July 2014.

Their evidence shows that a large proportion of crimes are opportunistic, so they too are asking the community to secure valuables, lock doors and windows and keep belongings out of sight.

WA Police have recently launched Operation Sweep in response to this spike in crime, which will see increased police presence in crime hot spots.

For more home burglary tips visit RAC Insurance Tips  or RAC Home Security Tips.  To stay updated with WA Police, follow #OperationSweep on Twitter.