Advertisement

Police offer tips on holiday crime

December 27, 2000|By TARA REILLY

Police offer tips on holiday crime



Now that the gifts have been unwrapped, authorities say it's time to take extra measures to prevent holiday break-ins.

The Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute reports that the number of residential burglaries tends to increase in December and January, mainly because people leave the contents of their homes in sight of would-be thieves casing the neighborhood.

"Believe it or not, we have a lot of people that like to leave their doors open," said Sgt. David Kloos, of the Maryland State Police at Hagerstown.

Fifty percent of all burglaries happen because people leave their doors and windows open and the shades up when they're not home, said Bruce Miller, a crime prevention specialist and former Baltimore County police officer.

Advertisement

He said boxes from opened Christmas gifts are put outside for garbage pick-up, which tips off others as to what kinds of items are inside the home.

"People get lots of nice things for the holidays, like VCRs or PlayStations, and they'll throw the boxes outside," Miller said. "It's going to let me know you have a lot of nice things in the home."

Here are some tips that authorities say will help keep burglars away:

-- Break down cardboard boxes from expensive electronics and other gifts and put them in plastic bags before trash day to keep others from knowing what items are in your home.

-- Don't display gifts where they may be seen through a window or doorway.

-- When away from home, make your house look occupied. Leave lights on or leave a radio or television playing.

Kloos suggested setting lights on timers when you're away from your home and asking neighbors to pick up the mail or newspapers.

"Neighbors are always a great source to keep an eye on your home," he said.

For more information, contact the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute at 1-800-303-8802 or 410-203-1006.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|