COLUMBIA - The traditional spike in holiday burglaries doesn't mean you have to be a victim.
Detective Thomas O'Sullivan, from the Boone County Sheriff's department, said there are clear ways to protect your home, especially during the holidays.
"One of the main things to do is make your house look occupied," said O'Sullivan. "This means lighting and a car in the driveway."
O'Sullivan also gave a list of things to consider if you are traveling.
"Get your mail stopped and halt all newspaper deliveries. You don't want burglars to spot a bulging mailbox," said O'Sullivan. "Also, make sure you confide in a trusted neighbor about your plans so they can keep an eye on your home. And depending on where you live, call your local law enforcement agency to drive by your home occasionally."
O'Sullivan said there are no areas exempt from burglaries.
"On one hand a rural area has less traffic so it can be more attractive to burglars, but on the other hand suburban areas can be just as attractive," said Sullivan.
Another tip is to be aware of your social networks. A study out of the United Kingdom indicated 4 out of 5 burlarars can use a tweet, a Facebook status or a check in on Four Square to find empty homes.