MID-MISSOURI - While many residents leave home to visit friends and family during holidays, that leaves their homes unattended. Police reminded citizens Friday to help cut down on holiday burglaries.
"Because many residents leave to visit family, they have the potential to be at an increased risk to become a victim of a burglary," stated a Columbia Police Department media release.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, the Boone County Sheriff's Department reported double the amount of crimes, including burglary, vandalism and trespassing. On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the sheriff's department responded to 10 incidents -- six vandalism, three burglaries, and one trespassing. The same time last week, deputies responded to five -- one vandalism, three burglaries, and one trespassing.
Jefferson City police responded to 30 incidents including theft, burglary, and property destruction on Monday and Tuesday. Officers responded to 38 incidents Wednesday and Thursday.
The Columbia Police said it will not have specific statistics until next week. But the department released tips on how to prevent holiday break burglaries.
- Leave ample exterior/interior lights on, or use timers
- Arrange for pickup of mail, newspapers, and packages
- Ensure all doors and windows are secure
- Disable automatic garage doors
- Take expensive items along (laptops, cameras)
- Give the residence the appearance someone is home
Columbia police said they step up patrol around the city during these times of year. Police said they try various different methods including both uniformed and plainclothes personnel, marked and unmarked police cars, and higher patrol in higher risk neighborhoods.