Many people are already making plans to head out of town for the holidays, but there are a few things you should know to keep your house safe while you're away. Police say the tips are common sense, but there are a lot of people who are so busy rushing around during the holidays that they forget to do a few simple things. Thieves are ready to take advantage.
Your home is nicely decorated and come Christmas morning the gifts inside will be open. The boxes those gifts came in out on the curb. Bad idea number one. Police Investigator Joe Baez says, “They cruise around sometimes and they see what new valuables are out for the taking.” 'They' are thieves, who police say are extra happy this time of year because it's the time when your home may be most vulnerable.
“Don't advertise what this house got for Christmas." Heading out of town this holiday season? Don't make mistake number two. “Have your neighbors pick up your mail or a family member who’s in town pick up your mail.”
“People look out for those things, papers in the driveway mail in the mailbox.” And don't forget to lock your doors! “The one simple thing people surprisingly don’t do is actually lock it.”
“Out of a weeks worth of burglaries, there’s a large percentage of homes that left unlocked or cars left unlocked.” And finally, inflatable Santas like this one have already started mysteriously flying off lawns. Make sure you mark him first, and maybe you'll see him again. “Something that's distinctive and you can identify that marking. Once it's been found. We find all kinds of property, and we can never re-unite it. It will wind up on propertyroom.com.”
The tips are simple, but they can keep you from becoming a victim.
“Criminals aren't afraid if they make the naughty list.”
Police also suggest giving them a call if you plan on heading out of town. That message will be relayed to the officer on patrol in your neighborhood, and they'll know to keep a closer eye out for your house.