Chilling home security footage reveals the growing threat of home invasion, with break-ins on the rise

Chilling security camera footage shared to social media, sparking a flood of comments, reveals a threat to an increasing number of Australian households.

Melbourne media personality Jacqui Felgate, host of 3AW’s Drive program, yesterday uploaded a clip to Instagram sent to her by a listener.

In it, a man wearing a full face covering and gloves can be seen creeping towards the front door of a home before reaching out to check if the door is locked.

Discovering it, the prowler quickly retreats back into the darkness. The vision was said to have been captured at a property in Doreen, north-east of Melbourne’s CBD, at 1.38am on Wednesday morning.

Felgate said she gets sent “so many of these creepy videos” by listeners and reminded her fans of the importance of locking their doors.

The post was flooded with hundreds of comments, including from Melburnians who’ve experienced their own terrifying close calls recently.

“Someone tried to break into our house like this last week at 5am,” one follower wrote.

“I was asleep in the bedroom with my newborn while my 3-year-old was asleep in the front of the house. Thank god my partner was awake in the lounge. So terrifying.”

Another said: “This happened to us twice last year in our previous apartment building. We were watching TV late at night in our living room and heard someone trying to check if our door was unlocked.”

One woman said someone tried to enter her home late on Sunday night, writing: “We were upstairs watching TV and someone opened our front door. Luckily our dog went crazy and scared them off.”

And another said her Melbourne apartment building was targeted three times in a single year.

Jump in home break-ins

The latest data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics shows home break-ins have increased for the first time in a decade.

For the 2021-22 financial year, the most recent period measured, some 194,100 households experienced an intrusion.

That’s the highest number since 2012 when 186,800 homes were robbed.

Will Milne, head of crime and data statistics at the ABS, said rates fell to a historic low of 116,700 at the height of Covid in 2020-21.

“Property was stolen in around two-thirds of break-ins – 65 per cent – with personal items like handbags, jewellery or clothing most often taken,” he said.

Last year, insurer NRMA received more than 2300 claims for home break-ins, with the most common objects stolen including bikes, jewellery, car keys, mobile phones and cash.

“We see a surge in home burglaries over the summer holidays as more people are away from their homes travelling or visiting family and friends,” NRMA Insurance executive manager of claims Natalie Major said.

“Thieves are always on the lookout for small items in the home that can be easily grabbed and resold. Bikes and keys are the most targeted item during a home burglary.

“It’s best to keep these valuables secured indoors and out of sight, away from windows.”

Data produced by Neighbourhood Watch Victoria showed a burglar spends an average of eight minutes inside a targeted home, meaning valuables in plain sight are most likely to be swiped.

Boom in security cameras

Affordable home security and doorbell cameras are booming in popularity, with NRMA research finding about 40 per cent of households have some kind of video system installed.

A survey commissioned by the popular brand Ring found 53 per cent of respondents added a range of safety products to their home last year ahead of the summer holidays.

Of those who beefed up their security, 34 per cent added cameras, 23 per cent mounted sensor lights and 22 per cent bought a smart doorbell.

The footage shared by Felgate was captured by a Eufy surveillance camera – one of several major brands to hit the market in recent years.

In another clip shared to her Instagram stories, a hooded man was caught by a Ring doorbell camera trying to enter a home in Werribee, 32 km south-west of Melbourne’s CBD.

There have been many clips shared on social media in recent times showing similar frightening break-ins captured by home security and doorbell cameras.

In one incident last April, a gang of youths armed with machetes and a rifle smashed their way into a Melton home in Melbourne. They confronted the occupants and demanded cash.

They made off with jewellery and a vehicle parked in the driveway.

A review by comparison website finder.com.au of the best security cameras available ranked Google’s Nest Cam as best overall. The Wyze Cam was declared the best budget model, while the Arlo Pro was rated the top outdoor camera and the Ring camera the best doorbell model.

NRMA’s data indicates about 40 per cent of homes have security cameras or alarm systems installed.

The Ring video doorbell was the best in its class, the finder.com.au comparison found.

Meanwhile, finder.com.au also found that five per cent of Australians have had a parcel stolen in the past 12 months – another growing trend and a main motivator for the purchase of a doorbell camera.

That equated to an estimated one million swiped packages in a year, finder.com.au determined.

Sarah Megginson, money expert at finder.com.au, said so-called ‘parcel pirates’ are taking advantage of soaring levels of online shopping.

“The loss can be an expensive one, costing Aussies millions every year – not to mention inconvenience,” Ms Megginson said.

Plea to take ‘simple steps’

Ms Major said a few “simple security measures” can significantly reduce the risk of break-ins and urged people to “remember to lock up your doors and windows, consider installing house alarms and security cameras, or have a friend, family member or neighbour look after your house [if away]”.

Alarmingly, she said research showed 41 per cent of Australians haven’t recently audited their home and contents insurance to ensure they’re adequately covered.

According to research by Budget Direct, only 53 per cent of those whose homes are robbed are covered by insurance.

Leave a Comment