Many students anxiously await the break between fall and winter semesters to enjoy the holiday season. However, hundreds of empty apartments and cars can be a gold mine to thieves. A recent news release from the Provo Police Department said this time of year is when many thefts occur because of distractions the holidays cause.
“Criminals are looking for crimes of opportunities, the easy targets,” the news release said. “We shouldn’t let our holiday season be ruined by becoming a victim.”
Police have described several ways to keep apartments and cars safe while away. Here are some dos and don’ts that will ensure an empty apartment or car is left untouched this year:
DO . . .
Make sure the lights near front doors are functional and kept on as much as possible. If a criminal can’t be seen, they are more likely to strike.
Lock all doors, even if just leaving for a few minutes.
If a neighbor is staying behind, ask them to pick up mail and newspapers. Nothing says “I’m not home” like a pile of newspapers.
Report any suspicious behavior. Even if you’ll be sticking around for the holidays, a lot of people won’t be. Be a good neighbor and watch out for those around you.
If valuables must be kept in the car, put them in the trunk.
Purchase window security. There is inexpensive hardware available to make a window harder to open.
DON’T . . .
Keep all your lights off. If a criminal can’t be seen, they are more likely to strike.
Advertise leaving. Facebook isn’t as secure as some might think. Burglars utilize social networks to find targets.
Leave valuables in vehicles or in windows where a burglar can see them. If they know there is something of worth and no one is home, the item is asking to be stolen.
Park your car in an unlit, hidden area. You might return to a car covered in snow, but if a car is left in an unlit and non-public area, it’s more likely to become a victim.
Give a burglar a place to hide. Talk to landlords about cutting shrubs and move any objects away from the house or apartment that might be a good hiding place.
Don’t become a thief’s next next victim this holiday season.
Tips courtesy of Provo Police Department