"You don't care about the victims" - Newstalk speaks with home burglars

Newstalk Drive's Henry McKean spoke to burglars and victims

"You don't care about the victims" - Newstalk speaks with home burglars

Posed photo | Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Despite modern alarm systems and increased security, burglars are still getting into your home.

There has been over 23,000 recorded burglary and related offences, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

More than 10,000 of these are in the Dublin region alone - a decrease from last year.

Newstalk Drive's Henry McKean spoke to burglars and the victims involved.

He met a husband and wife in south Dublin who were shocked to come home from work to find the door open and the burglar had broken through a wall in the conservatory to gain entry.

"I came home from work, I discovered that our hall door was open - I walked in and realised that we'd been broken into.

"I tried to figure out how they got in and what was missing.

"Realised that, in our case, the house was actually quite secure - so in their determination to get in, they actually knocked a hole in a wall.

"I went through the emotions of shock and then spent the next day probably very angry, thinking about levels of revenge."

He also spoke with burglars - some who still burgle, others did it in the past.

They explained to him why they do it, in some disturbing detail.

"I just fell in with the wrong company, I lost my job, I continued to hang around with them and I learned how to smoke cannabis - I just went on to harder drugs", one said.

"It's because you have no money, they can't support their families", another said.

"You see if its alarm-proofed, but it if it's not alarm-proofed you could choose a small window.

"Laptops, jewellery, computers - I'll even take her knickers...just to get a sniff on, see what she smells like."

"You don't think about the victim"

This is happening across Dublin in urban suburbs, but not just wealthy areas - sometimes in the neighbourhood of where the burglar lives", Henry says.

"Not everyone is insured and not everyone reports a break in to the gardaí.

"Insurance companies never pay out completely and it's difficult to know what the value of goods are worth with no receipts."

How much items can fetch on the blackmarket vary.

"Some people just take 50, cause maybe they have a drug habit", one woman said.

And what advice would people offer to homeowners: "A dog is a good deterrent, especially for an old folks person", a man added.

And it's not just high-tech gadgets some of these people are after.

Pillow cases can be used to store the loot of such items as underpants, knickers, jewellery and alcohol.

But do these burglars do the care about the victims?

"Sometimes I'd take the telly, kick the back door in - put a sheet or a blanket over it.

"You don't care about the victims - they're victims, you don't worry about that. You don't think about the victim", one man said.

The wife of the man we heard earlier who was burgled says garda forensics were so busy because of other burglaries, they did not come for a few days.

She wants to remain anonymous.

"I think it's really been a rollercoaster of emotions between fear, hurt anger. This sense that somebody's been through all your stuff.

"I suppose the biggest thing for me is just this unnerving sense that 'Oh my God, are they going to come back?'".