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Spare a Thought For… (Life in Lockdown)

Spare a Thought For… (Life in Lockdown)

I do think it would be rather nice at this difficult time if we could spare a thought for a group suffering great hardship from the current restrictions on movement. I refer to the housebreaking community.

Statistics show that most burglaries happen in the daytime. When we think of a burglar we might typically imagine someone sneaking around in the dark of night unnoticed but in actual fact most burglaries take place between 10am and 3pm.

And with so many families now at home during those hours as a result of the coronavirus pandemic the burgling profession are having a hard time of it. It’s been reported that many burglars are so strapped for cash they are having to dip into their savings, going on Ebay to sell off stolen property they had been reserving for their retirement.

In other cases burglars have apparently had to resort to burgling each other. There are stories of burglars leaving home to carry out a robbery being confronted in their own driveways by other burglars about to burgle them. Not unsurprisingly this has caused some ill-feeling. And words have been exchanged.

One report I have seen reveals that a young apprentice burglar who had not been following the news tried out his developing skills by entering an expensive property though the French windows, only to find the owner, a former professional wrestler, enjoying a late lunch with his family. Although quite busy dealing with coronavirus patients doctors in the local A&E department used a local anaesthetic to release the intruder’s left leg which had somehow become wrapped around his throat.

The hardship has not been confined to the burglars themselves. The fences who help them to dispose of stolen property are complaining that they keep seeing the same old stuff as burglars continue to recycle property stolen from each other. And that it is impossible to dispose of.

And now the whole future of burglary as a profession would appear to be in doubt. As an executive member of the House-breakers’ Federation put it to me, speaking anonymously, “…many youngsters who were planning to follow in their fathers’ footsteps by making a dishonest living out of burglary are now talking about going straight. And unless people soon start going out to work and leaving their homes unattended during the day a proud tradition of British private enterprise and self-reliance could finally come to an end.”