Britain's thieves have a field day in the month after Christmas, subjecting homes to 26 per cent more thefts than the yearly average, the Halifax has claimed.
The new study estimates 76,000 burglaries in January 2007, the equivalent of one theft every 35 seconds, would cost Britons £170 million.
The combined incentives of homes stuffed with valuable Christmas gifts and new sales acquisitions and darker evenings encourage burglars to make January their most productive month of the year, the study claims.
British Crime Survey data for 2000-05 shows 33 per cent of burglaries occurring between 18:00 and midnight and a further quarter between midnight and 06:00.
"Thieves are opportunists, and will strike during the day or night if they feel a property has inadequate security and the timing is right," commented Vicky Emmott, senior underwriter for Halifax Home Insurance.
Affluent Londoners are the second most likely geographical group to be targeted by January thieves, just behind their Nottingham counterparts and ahead of Leeds inhabitants.For more information about home insurance, click here.
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