Heartless burglars bag around €700 in pre Christmas raids
THE value of presents stolen from people's homes over Christmas equates to more than €700 per household, according to insurance company Aviva.
And it's not only iPhones, games consoles and jewellery that is being stolen by burglars. Food and drink is also being taken.
With Christmas approaching fast, people are already stocking up on presents and food, and spending more time out of the house going to parties and visiting friends and relatives.
Burglars who are well aware of people's habits and patterns during the festive season are taking advantage of empty houses to break-in undetected.
They also find it easy to target houses where Christmas gifts are easy to see, conveniently left downstairs, under the Christmas tree and often in plain sight of a window.
The Central Statistics Office has confirmed that 5,686 house thefts took place between October and December 2012.
Through the research, Aviva Home Insurance found that almost nine in ten Irish people think iPhones are the most commonly stolen item during the Christmas holidays.
This is followed by money (87pc), iPads (83pc), computers/laptops (81pc) and jewellery (80pc).
The research of 675 over 35-year-olds also shows that the average value of contents in people's fridges at Christmas is almost €300, making them another attractive target for some burglars.
"Unfortunately burglars are all too aware of the ease and benefit of targeting homes at Christmas time," said Charlotte Moran, who is the Retail Operations Director at Aviva.
"This means that people need to take extra care when protecting their homes at this time of year," she added.