The holidays bring us many wonderful things: people we haven’t seen in a year, amazing food, sentimental traditions, thoughtful gifts, festive cheer. Unfortunately, however, not everything brought by the holiday season is welcome, and one item in that category is the increase in theft that occurs during the holiday months.
Many of us take this opportunity to travel and visit friends and family, leaving our homes unattended. And for those of us that don’t, distractions still abound. In a time where expensive items are sent and received as gifts and we find ourselves busier than normal, it’s imperative to take precautions to keep property and valuables safe as we go.
We’ve put together five tips designed to help residents keep their valuables safe this holiday season:
Lock your vehicle, your doors, and your windows each night. Surprisingly, many don’t here in San Luis Obispo. More than 40% of burglaries happen without force, so locking up when you’re asleep or not home you’ll take yourself off the “easy target” list..
Don’t leave valuables – computers, wallets, purses, purchased holiday gifts – visible in your parked car. Vehicle thefts in particular have increased in San Luis Obispo greatly over the past few months, and when those items are visible through the window, they’re advertising themselves.
Park your car in well-lit areas at night. A highly visible target draws more potential attention to a theft. Parking your car near a streetlight is an easy way to make potential thieves think twice about breaking into your car.
If you are traveling, don’t make it obvious your home is empty. If a house or car looks empty or abandoned, the “ease of robbery” score increases. This becomes especially important when you leave for an extended period of time because it can give potential thieves the opportunity to stake out your home or car. Good ways to combat this are to leave a light on in the home when you’re not there and to arrange for someone to pick up accumulating mail or newspapers, mow your lawn, and move your car around if you’re on an extended vacation.
And finally, stay vigilant in your neighborhood. Look out for your neighbors and yourself and report any suspicious activity to the SLOPD. Let’s work together to protect our neighborhoods and our town.
By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you’ll allow yourself to maintain the festivities of the season without the frustration of a theft.