Home burglaries returning to normal levels after lockdown

The easing of coronavirus physical distancing measures brought a rise in home burglaries, data from the police and insurance companies showed. While burglaries at one point had fallen by over 60 percent by the midpoint of the "intelligent lockdown," the number of home thefts was quickly approaching the same level as in 2019, reported newspaper AD.

There were 6,951 burglaries from March through the end of June, compared to 11,041 a year earlier, representing a 37 percent decline. From April 27 through May 3, that total was 294, just 40 percent of the 731 total burglaries reported in the corresponding week in 2019.

Last week, however, that figure rose to 510, compared to 570 the previous year. "Because of the easing, more Dutch people are going to work and it is getting busier on the road," said the police point person for home burglaries, Sybren van der Velden, in an interview with AD. The offenders typically try to avoid violence, and they "want to get in and out quickly. So when people are at home, they stay away."

Reopening the borders could also lead to an increase in roving gangs which operate internationally, Van der Velden said.

Insurance firms Allianz Direct and Interpolis said they also saw increases in burglary reports from their clients. The rise corresponded to the government relaxing the coronavirus measures, the newspaper reported.

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