A burglar has broken into a South Mackay home.
A burglar has broken into a South Mackay home. Tom Weber

$19 million data prompts Christmas robbery warning

RESIDENTS are being warned to lock up their houses over the festive season after new RACQ insurance data revealed almost 5000 home theft claims had totalled $19 million in the past three years.

16 of those claims came from the Gympie region in that time frame, prompting RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross to take all precautions in protecting their home.

"There is so much to think about as you pack and head away over the Christmas period, that unfortunately home security can often be forgotten," Ms Ross said.

"It may only take a few minutes but it could save you a lot of heartache if it prevents a break in.

"We hate hearing stories about people coming home from a wonderful holiday to find their belongings, maybe even their brand new Christmas gifts, have been stolen."

Ms Ross said simple steps could help people their homes secure.

"Firstly, remember the basics. Shut and lock your doors and windows, arm your alarm if you have one, and ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property."

The warning comes after five car robbery offences occurred in Gympie and Tin Can Bay between December 5 and December 10, and a driver travelling in a stolen Mazda BT-50 from Torquay stole fuel from a stop in Goomeri.

RACQ tips to secure your home this Christmas:

- Deadlock doors and windows "don't" assume high windows or balcony doors are too hard for thieves to access.

- Avoid posting about your holiday plans on social media.

- Store easy to carry items such as laptops, jewellery and cash out of sight.

- Consider installing a safe.

- Ask trusted neighbours, family or friends to regularly clear your letterbox, mow your lawn or park in your drive way to make your home look habited.

- Consider a timer on lights or a radio to give your home the appearance someone is home.

- Check your home and contents insurance is up to date.