COLUMBIA - Local security companies said they are seeing an increase in sales as the holiday season approaches. Owner of Command Security and Sound, Brian Marema, said the increase is due to people focusing more on security.
"You generally see an increase in burglaries around the holidays, especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas time there's a lot of people that really focus on their home," Marema said.
According to the Uniform Crime Reports, Columbia's reported burglaries in 2012 were lower in November and December than in April and May. averaging about two to three burglaries per day, a number that has held steady for years.
Columbia resident Kim Tolson knows first hand security systems help. A home she was selling in St. Louis was broken into November 1 of this year.
"I honestly didn't think I would need it, but now that we've experienced someone breaking into our home, I definitely will in our next house will have a security system, even with more features," Tolson said.
Kim Tolson and her husband had been married for three months before their home was burglarized. They were in the middle of moving to Columbia when their St. Louis home was hit by burglars.
Marema said the Tolson's home were a perfect target because the couple was hardly home and had a for sale sign out front.
Kim Tolson said she had her lights on a timer to make it look like people were home, but Tolson's ultimate house saver was her alarm.
"From what police can tell, only a TV was missing and that they believed the alarm frightened the burglars away and they didn't touch anything else," Tolson said.
The Columbia Police said they don't discourage anyone getting a home alarm system, but people can take other steps to deter burglars like locking doors and leaving lights on.
Marema said some tips to keep your house protected:
• Have some kind of an alarm
• Keep lights on inside house if out of house
• Have someone pick up your newspaper and mail
More information on burglary prevention can be found here.