With most of us focused on shopping and visiting family, it's easy to forget about what you leave behind when you travel for the holidays.
To ensure your home is protected from thieves you should remember a few tips before you leave town.
An empty home is an easy target for criminals this time of year. But there are a few measures you can take to ensure your house is not a vulnerable mark.
Before locking up and hitting the road for the Holidays, it is important to make sure your home is secure.
"We always say that you at least know your neighbors on either side of you so you can talk to them and advise them that you may not be there and have them keep a look on your property, maybe collect your mail," said Cpt. Tom Jackson, Dougherty County Police.
Oris Jefferson runs a neighborhood watch in East Albany and says it is also important to keep your garbage hidden from possible crooks.
"With Christmas and everything you need to be very cautious, you know, you buy gifts, and TV's, whatever you are buying, you need to be careful with you boxes, when you take them out to the garbage, break them down, don't just leave them, somebody comes through the ally and might see those boxes, oh they have a new TV," said Oris Jefferson, Eastgate Neighborhood Watch President.
One of the most common mistakes people can make is showing off their Christmas tree.
"Thieves know that you are having gifts delivered to your home, you have a tree in your house somewhere and if you are putting out your gifts early, some people even leave their blinds open and you can see the gifts right there in your house," said Jackson.
The best thing to do besides locking your doors is to make it look like someone is home.
"Try to recommend to people is that they have some sensor lighting and also have some timers on their lighting and you could also put a radio or maybe a TV set on that timer to come off intermittently so it does give the appearance that someone is at home," said Jackson.
They might seem like trivial changes, but officials say every little bit helps.
When you go out of town it is a good idea to not only let your neighbors know but let the police know too.
They can patrol the area for any suspicious activity while you are away. Here's another tip.Don't leave a spare key hidden on your property.
Leave it with a trusted neighbor. Burglars may have more experience looking for keys than you do hiding them.
Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.
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