Holiday Season Creates Opportunities For Thieves

Operation Christmas Child

The Christmas Tree might look perfect in your front window, but the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office tells us that might tempt a thief to break the window and steal the gifts underneath.

“I don’t know if we can get it all 100% stopped but we’re gonna push til we can get what we can,” says Anderson County Resident Terry Chapman.

In 2012 19.6% of burglaries in Anderson County happened in November and December. That’s up from 17% of the yearly burglaries in 2011. The Sheriff’s Office tells us they’re extra vigilant during the holidays but they also say people can help prevent becoming a victim.

Chapman and his Community Watch Group have worked for years to cut down the crime in their neighborhood. They plan to continue their work through the hustle and bustle to prevent any holiday thefts this season,

“Christmas time or the holidays, the thieves woke up because they’re too sorry to work for it so they take yours,” Chapman says.

Here’s a list of tips from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office:

  • ·    Be sure to lock all doors and windows when leaving your house even for a few minutes.
  • ·    Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in a front window visible from the street. It’s too tempting for a criminal to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages. Criminals can even plan a later break in based on their earlier observations.
  • ·    Don’t advertise your absence. Burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning for 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, and mail or advertising flyers hanging on the door for days on end.
  • ·    Use an inexpensive light timer when you are away and ask a neighbor to pick up newspapers and mail.
  • ·    If you go out for the evening, turn on your porch lights. Sometimes leaving a radio or television on deters criminals by making it appear as if someone is home.
  • ·    Burglars know to look for the hidden door key near the front entrance. Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flower pots, or on door ledges. If at all possible give a spare key to a family member who lives locally or a trusted neighbor.
  • ·    Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors and windows. Do not run exterior Christmas light extension cords through windows and doors if it causes them to not be secured.
  • ·    When electronic gifts are received, make sure you record their serial numbers and keep that list in a safe location. Serial numbers aid law enforcement in tracking your stolen items, help you in the recovery process and are useful to insurance companies should you have to file a claim.
  • ·    After Christmas, don’t pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo receiver on the street for the garbage man. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have brand new expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break the boxes down or cut them up to conceal the items better.

Read More about Recent Burglary Trends In Anderson County:

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