During the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, while most people are enjoying time spent with family, eating delicious dinners and exchanging gifts, the time is also prime season for theft in New Hampshire.
The holiday season provides more opportunities for criminals to take advantage of us. We get busy and forget to lock our doors, our cars or set our alarms, leave packages, presents and shopping bags out in the open. We also leave the house more often to go shopping, out to eat or to visit with relatives and carry extra cash or credit cards with us.
Thieves are often looking for easy targets, and are on the lookout for specific signs. There are a number of steps that you can take to help prevent a holiday robbery, including:
- When leaving home for an extended period of time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers, mail and garbage cans. Alternatively, you can stop delivery of newspapers or mail.
- Leave a light on when you leave your home at night or put your lights, including Christmas lights, on an automatic timer.
- Place a television on an automatic timer to give the impression that someone is home.
- Never say you are away from home on an outgoing message on an answering machine or voicemail.
- Never reveal your holiday plans on social media websites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn or blogs.
- Do not leave valuable items in your car, especially overnight.
- Do not place boxes for newly purchased items at the curb for trash removal, rather break the boxes into small pieces and place in the bottom of a trash can.
- Keep home doors and windows locked.
- Draw the drapes when you are away from home.
- Put away ladders after hanging Christmas lights and decorations because they could be used to gain access to second story entrances.
- Do not leave keys hidden outside, thieves are aware of popular hiding places, like under the doormat, in a planter or on top of a door sill, and fake rocks are not fooling anyone.
- Do not give keys to service people.
- Do not allow strangers into your home for any reason, including carpet cleaners or magazine salesmen.
- Install exterior lighting, preferably with motion detectors.
- Have your home phone forward calls to your cell phone, because thieves will often call your home to see if anyone is there.
- Lower the volume of your telephone ringer, and your answering machine, so that it cannot be heard from outside.
- Always park your cars in the garage with the garage door shut so that no one can determine any occupancy patterns.
- If you can, invest in a quality alarm system.
Robbery is an unfortunate side effect of the holiday season but following the tips we provided, can help you prevent becoming a victim.
Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season ~ Russman Law Offices