COLUMBIA - As winter break approaches, the Columbia Police Department reminds everyone the importance of locking doors and windows. This advice is especially for MU students, who are out of school for a month.
"Winter break we usually see the numbers around 75 to 78 burglaries," said Officer Latisha Stroer.
Student Annie Trout experienced a burglary earlier this month. The back door was unlocked, making it easy for a burglar to walk in the home. Three laptops, laptop charger, glasses, and an iPod were stolen. Stoer said electronics are typically stolen because the items can sell quickly.
Locking doors is the most important way to keep burglars away, but they can find other ways to get in. Making it look like someone is home is key.
"We always suggest that you get lights on timers. If there are certain valuables that you can take home during the break, we ask you to take them home or lock them up. Make sure your curtains are closed so that it's not visible from outside through the windows," said Stroer.
Another safety tip is to stop the mail and newspapers from being delivered. If these start to pile up, burglars will know how long the resident has been gone.
"I'm definitely nervous about not being here for a month during the holiday season, but we're going to have our landlord come and check the house, maybe a few times over break just to check in case. And we'll definitely have all of our doors and windows locked," said Trout.