Protect Your Home Over the Holidays

7 years 11 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, December 21 2010 Dec 21, 2010 Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:59:04 AM CST December 21, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has launched covert operations to fight home burglaries.   In addition police want residents to take steps to keep their homes safe.

Signal 88 Security President Matthew Nichols specializes in alarm systems in apartment communities. He says he always sees a significant increase in business this time of year, especially with so many college students leaving town. Columbia police will patrol such areas with high student populations in unmarked cars.

Columbia Police Department Public Information Officer Jil Wieneke adds that in addition to an alarm system, there are plenty of common sense measures people can take to safeguard their homes. The measures, listed on the police department website, are as follows:
  • Make sure all locks on the doors and windows function properly and use them.
  • Give your house a lived-in appearance. Put automatic timers on several lights, a radio, and a television. Set the timers so that the lights and appliances will turn on and off at random times.
  • Leave shades and blinds in a position that you would normally leave them.
  • Arrange for a neighbor to pick up mail, newspapers, and any other packages. Ask your neighbor to use your driveway and garbage cans while you are away.
  • Make sure smoke and burglar alarms function properly and are armed.
  • Turn the ringer on your telephone down low or off and do not leave your lights on 24 hours a day.
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to watch over your property while you are gone and leave emergency contact information with them.
  • Leave a normal message on your answering machine and avoid discussing your vacation plans in public.
  • Contact the Columbia Police Department at (573) 442-6131 or (573) 874-7652 and request a "vacation watch in passing." Officers will be made aware that you are not home and will drive by the area more frequently.


One new problem Wieneke warns against deals with social media. Wieneke says posting descriptions of your whereabouts on websites such as Facebook and Twitter is foolish.


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