7 Christmas Crimes & How To Prevent Them
It doesn't matter what holiday you celebrate. If you aren't careful about your home security this season, you could easily become the next victim. All around the country, police report higher rates of crime from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day. Take Arizona, for example, where statistics show that residents are 45% more likely to be victims of theft during the holidays.
The last thing you want at this time of year is discover that you're home has been broken into, that valuables have been stolen, or worse.
Use this list of 7 common holiday crimes below to see how you can keep your home safe this holiday.
- Burglars find an unlocked window, which has been left open to run extension cords for outdoor holiday lights. This mistake is very common – and it's a fire risk, too. Keep all windows shut and locked. If you have no power outlets outside for holiday lights, have them installed by an electrician, rather than running wires from inside the house.
- An open door for Santa lets the thieves inside. This may sound silly, but it happens. In homes without chimneys, some children insist their parents leave a door unlocked, so that Santa can get in. Parents may unlock it, just to appease the kids, but then forget to lock it again later. This is an open invitation for burglars.
- Gifts left in plain view – gone in a flash. Close all curtains and blinds to prevent the bad guys from seeing your holiday stash inside.
- Packaging in your trash tells burglars what to steal inside your house. If you leave the box for your new 60" TV on the curb, everyone in town will know about it! Break down and conceal all gift packaging (or consider taking it directly to the nearest recycling center).
- Posting your holiday plans on Facebook lets bad guys know to break in. Avoid the temptation to share your travels publicly on social media. You never know who may be seeing your post.
- Burglars break in, because they know you've been gone for days. How did they know? Mail was piling up. Newspapers weren't being retrieved. The front light has been on 24 hours a day. If you're traveling for the holiday, have someone house-sit (collect mail, etc.) to create the appearance that you're home.
- A disarmed security system allows thieves to enter. The holidays are NOT the time to let your guard down! Regardless of how late you're staying up to wrap presents or how many family members will be coming/going, you must remain vigilant. Keep your system armed.