Britain is in the grip of a crimewave. Pilferers are breaking into houses and stealing everything from cash to underwear \u2013 and it\u2019s costing the UK a staggering \u00a3305 million.\r\n\r\nYou might even have a thief in your home right now\u2026 but who? Well, look no further than Fido or Fluffy.\r\n\r\nIf you\u2019re one of the 12 million British households who own a pet, you could be the next victim, according to new research.\r\n\r\nBritain\u2019s furry friends have turned into furry fiends as over half of UK pet owners (52 percent) admit to harbouring a pet criminal. But the real number of furry and feathered felons could be even higher, as a further 15 percent say they suspect their beloved animal is thieving but they can\u2019t prove it.\r\n\r\nSurprising new data from ADT, reveals owners lose \u00a349.34 on average to their light pawed pets, but shockingly, one in 16 (six percent) owners has been burgled to the tune of over \u00a3150. That\u2019s a lot of kibble.\r\n\r\nThe research also reveals that \u2018cat burglars\u2019 is a misnomer as birds are the true scourge of the nation, with 59 percent found guilty of filching.\r\n\r\nPooches are also prolific with 58 percent caught with their paw in the proverbial cookie jar, compared to only 47 percent of cats.\r\n\r\nHowever, reptiles have the most extravagant tastes, with the items they steal coming to a whopping \u00a3209 over their lifetimes.\r\n\r\nTop items taken by pets include food (71 percent), money (seven percent) and even underwear (21 percent):\r\n\r\n \tFood (71 per cent)\r\n \tShoes (25 per cent)\r\n \tOther pets\u2019 toys (23 per cent)\r\n \tChildren\u2019s toys (22 per cent)\r\n \tUnderwear (21 per cent)\r\n \tPost (17 per cent)\r\n \tBlankets (17 per cent)\r\n \tClothes (14 per cent)\r\n \tNewspapers (nine per cent)\r\n \tMoney (seven per cent)\r\n\r\nThe research also revealed that old pets are even teaching themselves new tricks as they pursue a life of crime \u2013 35 percent of pilfering pets learnt to undo food packaging, 30 percent can now open doors and 12 percent can unlock handbags.\r\n\r\nSo to combat this wave of pet pilfering, the security experts at ADT have teamed up with Instagram superdog Pumba the Chow Chow (@thingsonpumba) to create a new role on the product innovation team \u2013 the UK\u2019s first \u2018Pet Detective\u2019.\r\n\r\nPumba and ADT are looking for the UK\u2019s most prolific cat, dog, budgie or bunny burglar, to help ADT understand how pilfering pets manage to evade capture, and identify weak spots in Britain\u2019s homes by setting a thief to catch a thief!\r\n\r\nThe role is a year\u2019s consultancy. The exclusive position will be reimbursed with a new ADT Smart Home system which will be installed by ADT, a year\u2019s free monitoring and a generous welcome bonus of \u00a3500 of vouchers for\u00a0Monster Pet Supplies.\r\n\r\nIf you have a pet pilferer at home, apply on their behalf on the\u00a0ADT Facebook page. The application process is simple \u2013 owners simply need to upload an image of their pet in action and detail their suitability for the role using the following criteria that Pumba has set out for the applicants:\r\n\r\n \tTrack record of being light-pawed\r\n \tHighly intelligent \u2013 comes up with ingenious ways to pilfer possessions\r\n \tIntrepid explorer \u2013 capable of venturing far and wide to find every nook and cranny\r\n \tExperienced at evading capture\r\n \tFull bag of swag\r\n\r\nLee Jasper, from ADT said:\u00a0\u201cWe\u2019re a nation of pet lovers but the research has revealed that the nations pets don\u2019t always return the love \u2013 they\u2019re thieving our possessions behind our backs. As experts in home security, we wanted to get to the bottom of this. As the best way to catch a thief is to set a thief we\u2019re searching for the UK\u2019s most prolific pet pilferer. We\u2019ll use their insider knowledge to understand and learn more about the security weak spots that the UK\u2019s pets exploit.\u201d\r\n\r\nGabriel, the owner of Pumba said:\u00a0\u201cWe are excited to see the potential candidates coming forward. Pumba has had her moments of thieving so she knows that these pets have a long road ahead to get clean. However, becoming the ADT Pet Detective should help keep them on the straight and narrow.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe research also revealed that pet burglars are turning a blind eye to their human counterparts. A shocking 76 per cent of dog owners revealed their dogs didn\u2019t alert them to a burglar being in their home. Eighty-five per cent of cat owners also said that their cat didn\u2019t meow when a burglar came in.\r\n\r\nSurprisingly birds make the best burglars and the best pet burglar alarms \u2013 with 46 per cent of owners revealing they were made aware of an intruder by their pet bird squawking.\r\n\r\nFor more information about ADT\u2019s Pet Detective campaign, visit\u00a0www.adt.co.uk\/petedetective.