December 12, 2013

Winter break and holiday vacation season is upon us and that means vacant or unoccupied homes in our community. The Riley County Police Department would like to remind the community of a few tips to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of crime while away from your home over the next month. We ask that those staying in the area during winter break report suspicious activity to police and use the Crime Stoppers service when you become aware of tips for a past crime and wish to remain anonymous. 

When leaving town, refrain from posting about it on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. These posts can let would-be thieves know that your home is unoccupied. Post your holiday pictures after you have returned and never give out your address, personal information, or daily schedule via social media accounts.

Close and secure all doors and windows to your home. Shutting blinds or drapes can also help to prevent a future break-in since it masks the goods that you store inside. 

Vehicles left at home should be secured and not contain any valuables, especially those in plain sight. Make sure vehicles are legally parked to avoid tickets and towing. 

When you receive gifts of value, never leave their boxes on the curb. This advertises the items you have in your home. Instead break down these boxes and store them in trash cans that are put out on the day of your trash pick-up. 

Going to be gone for a while? Have a friend or family member check on your home or apartment while you are away. This will show the residence being occupied more and could help to stop someone from targeting your home.

When leaving valuables behind, make sure to store them in a safe place inside of your home or apartment. If your residence is broken into, these items will then be more difficult to locate. 

Keep track of descriptions and serial numbers of valuable items. In the event they are stolen this will help investigators. For more information on storing these serial numbers read our article on "ReportIt."

Leave porch and landscaping lights on. If you are going to be away for a period of time, leave a light or two on inside of the home as well. This small cost to your energy bill could trick a potential burglar into thinking that someone is home. Want to take it a step further? Use timers to schedule lights to go on and off while you are out of town.

Celebrating the holidays with alcohol and driving should never be combined. Officers will be out on the street over winter break attempting to detect and detour impaired driving. 

Excited to use that new iPhone or Android? Avoid doing so while driving as this action could result in a citation or even worse, a car collision. 

If something looks suspicious, call us. Our non-emergency phone number is 785-537-2112. You don't have to wait for the crime to occur for us to be interested in investigating.

Don't leave candles or other potential fire hazards unattended while you are away from your home. Though our Fire Department is great, we hope to just avoid the fire in the first place.