Everyone loves the holidays, but few love them as much as criminals. Picture yourself as a burglar for a moment. Your chosen vocation requires you to find houses where you think you’ll find new or recently purchased big-ticket items. In a perfect world, everything would be in the same room, so you wouldn’t have to spend time searching the entire house, and … also in a perfect world … it’d be nice if everything were on display, so it could all be located before a break-in from outside the house. And it would be SO nice if everything were already in easy-to-carry boxes.
Compare that criminal wishlist to this description of Christmas: New, possibly big-ticket items all neatly stacked beneath the tree, all in boxes and—as a festive bonus—covered in holiday wrapping paper, and all of it visible from the street as homeowners open their curtains to proudly display their tree and other holiday decorations.
The holidays really are a time for celebration if you’re a criminal. If you’re a pickpocket, it’s a time when people may be carrying more cash than normal. If you’re a car thief, it’s a time when the odds increase that expensive items are being stored in an automobile’s back seat or trunk. If you’re a lazy thief, drive down the street and collect all the holiday packages that have been delivered and, because no one is home, have been left on the front porches all over town. And if breaking into homes is your specialty, there are gifts galore under the Christmas tree just waiting for some Grinch-like reverse-Santa to put them in a big sack and take them away.
If it seems like holiday crime is probably more of an issue in New York or Los Angeles, but certainly not in and around good old Tucson. An Allstate Insurance study showed that, when compared to the national average, Arizonans are 45.79 percent more likely to file a theft claim around Christmas time.
What steps can be taken to assure the holidays are crime free for you and your loved ones? Here are a few tips:
- Gifts should not be visible from outside. Many people keep their blinds and curtains closed after dark so that criminals are unable to stand outside and case the house. However, all that is forgotten at the holidays, when curtains and blinds are opened with abandon, allowing thieves a good look at the layout of your home and all your holiday gifts.
- Take your holiday trash elsewhere for disposal. Thieves will drive down the street checking out trash bins. Set that box for your new 56-inch television on the curb, and the odds of getting robbed go up.
- Don’t use social media to talk about gifts you’ve received.
- Get a good security system. Installing a variety of security devices will deter burglars and practically eliminate the chances of being a victim:
- Wi-fi indoor and outdoor cameras with night vision will keep a record of all the activity in and around your home and can be monitored from your phone or tablet.
- A Wi-fi doorbell lets you see and speak with visitors on your phone or tablet, whether you’re home or not. Uninvited guests will think you’re on the other side of the door, when you might be on the other side of the globe.
- Glass break detectors know the sound of breaking glass and can notify you and the police if a widow gets shattered for any reason.
- Motion sensors will know if anything in your home is moving … except for your pets … and will notify you and the police that someone is in your home.
- Smart door locks will permit entry to whomever you choose and will keep track of their comings and goings. Permit or deny entry with a phone or tablet from your couch or from another country.
Criminals love reading social media posts and are smart enough to know where you live so when you brag about the original Matisse your spouse got you, thieves will know exactly where it’s hanging.
It’s a good time to create a plan for keeping your home, your loved ones, and all your holiday gifts safe and sound. Contact Connect Security for a free quote and start preparing now for a safer holiday season.