Texas Home Burglary Claims Up 9 Percent in 2009, Reports Allstate Insurance

The number of home burglary claims for Allstate Insurance customers in Texas jumped 9 percent last year. With many Texans taking trips this summer, the insurer is encouraging people to keep their homes locked-up and their vacation plans under wraps.

In a survey of police departments across the state, Allstate found flat screen televisions are typically the No. 1 target in home burglaries, followed by laptops, jewelry and cash. Some surveyed departments reported an increasing number of home burglaries that are tied to organized criminal activity, like street gangs. Police reported these suspects have "shopping lists" of items to steal and will back into a victim's driveway and knock on the door. If no one answers, police say the perpetrators kick in the door, take items and leave within a few minutes. After the burglary, most of the items end up at an organized fencing operation where they are transported to other cities, states and across the border.

"Not only do these home burglaries disrupt homeowners' lives because their valuables are stolen, but they create a potentially dangerous situation if the theft is interrupted," said David Christopher, an Allstate agent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. "That's why it's so important for homeowners to take precautions because these thefts can happen anywhere."

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