Reporter: Clare Brady

When we go to work crooks also clock on, pacing street after street looking for windows of opportunity.

Craig McDonald of Victoria police says "Neighbours are lucky to have him living in their street. He's considered an expert in Victoria Police ranks when it comes to home break-ins."

"Craig I've even heard where a removalist truck pulled over in a seaside street and cleared out five houses of everything they owned. It's amazing. Incredibly brazen but someone must have seen something." Said Clare and Craig McDonald

Technology is now the watch dog on the prowl.

This is the very latest...adopted by more than 2 million American homes in a matter of months it will be here by May.

It's so new it doesn't even have a name.

The security system can be activated away from home using a smart phone or ipad.

When the alarm is triggered operators see the thieves immediately and even when the alarm is off you can tap into its cameras from afar.

Mike Ramsay of Charter Security says the system can deter thieves by making it appear like someone is at home.

"You can actually turn your outside lights on, your internal lights on as well and if it's a bit chilly at night turn your heater on and you can open your front door as you're approaching as well." Said Mike

With new technology smart phones and ipads play fingertip police.

Sensitive security cameras are still king when it comes to catching crooks.

Ipatrol is a wireless video monitoring system...movement in your home triggers it to record and alert a control room.

This is how it works.

I enter the home and as i look around to see what I'd like to steal, I'm also being watched and by the time I've cased the place and am about to leave, police will hopefully be at the front door to greet me.

Alan Myall of Securecorp has seen what cameras can do...within 40 seconds his operators see them in the act.

"We are finding kids as young as 12-13 are getting in to people's homes and the damage they cause once they get in to people's properties. Far this year we've had 57 actual apprehensions of offenders on site." Said Alan

Here a thief breaks into a business, then runs and hides. Police are directed where he is and it's all over within minutes.

Another break in is played out on camera. This thief takes his time looking through an office desk.

These look straight down the barrel...little do they know police are on their way.

Worst still is when the enemy is within. In this case a nurse, helping himself to money from the purse of an elderly woman suffering from the early stages of dementia.

Hidden cameras caught him in the act. Wade Steele was charged and convicted with 40 counts of stealing.

If you live near a train station experts say your home is a prime target. Thieves like to break in and use public transport as their getaway. And they have key times to strike.

Between 12pm and 4pm Mondays and 8am and midday Tuesday are prime break in times for home break ins.

Technology aside, don't forget, first they've got to get in and CrimSafe's Steve Brabeck says it's all about making it harder.

"There are a lot of desperate out there at the moment." Said Steve

Security screens are the first points to make impenetrable.

"Even with your windows locked they'll rip your fly screens off stick a screw driver in and break a bit of glass, open a window and get in." Said Steve

He's made some of his screens so tough they're used in jails.

High tech, tough or tenacious (barking dog), some say vigilance is still the key.

"I want them to check everything doors windows and the basic stuff." Said Craig

It's the basics that can make the difference.