Estate agents may need to re-think their office lighting – which literally highlights valuables such as expensive computer equipment to moped gangs.
A security expert has also said that agency branches are particularly vulnerable to the growing menace of moped criminals.
Several agents in London have reported being targeted in recent weeks, including Liberty Estate Agents in Finsbury Park which was hit four times in a month, with little police response.
Marc Jobson, head of operations for security firm UK Protection, says it is likely that police want to do more but just don’t have the resources.
Instead, he explains, there are steps agents can also take.
“It is about being aware of your surroundings.
“These people will do some form of hostile reconnaissance before they decide to attack it – they will do their research and visit branches.
“They may be with some form of cover trying to look normal, so staff have to assess if they seem too good to be true.”
He said agents should get together with other businesses to fund local private security but admitted guards and locked doors can be off-putting.
Jobson also suggests other security measures such as a “smoke cloak” alarm that automatically releases smoke to deter an intruder and stops them seeing where they are going, as well as panic buttons that link to the police or security firms, and specialist high-pitched alarms.
He said: “These may be expensive to set up but it is likely to make your insurance cheaper.
“Estate agents do look trendy and inviting at night. In the jewellery industry shutters go down, but office premises don’t do that. Agents want it lit up and inadvertently are lighting up thousands of pounds of equipment.
“Any ways of hiding valuable items or making it look darker at the back of the office and only lighting the windows at night would also be beneficial.
“Without added security, thieves will always go for the weakest.”