The holidays are over but that doesn’t mean new gifts, money, and homes are entirely safe from theft. A burglary is committed every 15 seconds across the United States, but criminals attempt even more burglaries in the days and weeks surrounding the holidays.
In cities across America, both large and small, burglars have been scouting out homes for weeks in hopes of finding homeowners who are easy targets for criminal theft.
According to ABC 11, in Raleigh, North Carolina, criminal break-ins have surged since Thanksgiving.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, in the city of Raleigh, a criminal was breaking into either a home or car an average of 16 times a day. There have been 222 home burglaries and 311 vehicle break-ins since the end of November.
One local homeowner, Carin Savel, lost nearly $50,000 worth of personal property during a break-in, including expensive electronics, jewelry, and family heirlooms.
“You can’t replace those memories,” she said. “That’s not coming back. I can replace some of the jewelry, I can buy it again. I can’t buy the reason behind it — the jewelry that were gifts, a necklace, a ring, something.”
Up north, in Brainerd, Minnesota, the city saw a significant jump in burglaries over the holiday weekend as well. Many of these burglaries weren’t just inside homes, either, but in cabins.
“A lot of these things didn’t happen [just] over the weekend,” said Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Meyer. “People are just coming up to the cabins and find them broken into. They’re being discovered. They haven’t been to the cabin for several weeks or a couple months and now it’s broken into.”
When it comes to holiday thievery, Little Rock, Arkansas is no exception — so the community is focusing on burglary prevention.
A great way to prevent criminal activity inside the home is to install quality security systems. There are an estimated 18 million residential security systems currently installed throughout the United States.
Another great prevention method is simply disposing of trash in a secretive way. The Little Rock Police Department has been educating city residents on the importance of keeping homes safe and protected from theft, especially during the holiday season.
“Let’s say you have a television, computer, gaming systems and things like that,” added officer Steve Moore. “If you just take all the boxes and put them out on the curb or in front of the house to be picked up, everyone gets to see what you’ve got inside the house now.”
Officers in Camden County, Missouri echo that sentiment, as well.
“Would be burglars love that. They love knowing what’s in your house,” added Captain Chris Twitchel of the Camden County Sheriff’s Department. “Many times you can take your boxes and break them down and put them in bags, or take them to the local recycler. I know many people that take them to their garage, and leave them in their garage until trash day, and right before the trash truck comes out, they go ahead and throw them up into the trash truck so they’re not a billboard for burglars.”
No matter what time of year it is, if you notice any suspicious activity in a neighborhood, notify the police right away.