December 21, 2009 19:00 ET

Paul Daniels Burgled While Watching TV

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2009) - Magician Paul Daniels was the latest victim of a sneak-in style burglary recently, when a burglar broke into his house while he was watching television.

The 71-year-old was sitting in the living room of his Berkshire home when a thief climbed in through an upstairs window. The TV entertainer, who did not lose anything of significant value, said the incident was "more of a nuisance than anything else".

Swinton, the UK's leading high street home insurance retailer, is warning homeowners to be extra vigilant during dark winter months and ensure windows and doors are locked.

Sneak-in thefts are those where entry has been gained through an open window or unlocked door, many occurring while the property is still occupied. Once inside thieves only need a few minutes to grab small items like handbags, wallets, mp3 players, phones, digital cameras or even the keys to the car on the drive.

Swinton's Insurance Development Manager Steve Chelton explains:

"Many households are increasingly at risk to sneak-in thieves on darker winter evenings. Despite regular crime prevention campaigns encouraging homeowners to always lock doors and windows, even while they are on the premises, traditionally around 40% of domestic burglaries are found to be 'sneak-in' crimes. In many cases these incidents occur when people are watching television in one part of the house while a thief enters via another."

Swinton recommends everyone follows the advice of crime prevention officers and ensure all entry points to the home are secure before settling down to an evening in front of the TV.

With regards to home insurance implications, Swinton points out that you will generally be covered for 'sneak-in' thefts if you are in the property when the crime occurs. However if you leave your property at any time, having failed to secure it adequately, you are unlikely to be covered in the event of a burglary.

About Swinton:

- With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer

- Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community

- Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance

- With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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