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Police offer tips to prevent burglaries during holidays

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By Sarah Bennett

The holiday season is a peak time of year for theft, and police warn area residents to take precautions to reduce the likelihood of burglaries in their homes.

Virgil Willoughby, spokesman for Elizabethtown Police Department, said social media users should minimize what they are posting on the Internet, especially any photos or information that indicates they are away from home.

“Nothing’s a secret these days,” Willoughby said.

For those who take a vacation during the holidays, police suggest they implement measures so it appears as if someone is home.

To avoid mail or newspapers piling up, Willoughby said homeowners should put deliveries on hold while they are out of town.

Bryce Shumate, spokesman for Radcliff Police Department, said if you have trash, ask a neighbor or friend to put the trash out when it is scheduled for pick up.

Police also suggest setting indoor lights on a timer so it appears as if someone is inside the home.

City police departments in Vine Grove, Radcliff and Elizabethtown offer house-watch programs for those who are on vacation. A police officer will go to the house once every 24 hours to check security.

The service is free and city residents can fill out forms for those programs at the departments.

Willoughbysaid you also may consider informing a neighbor you are leaving town so he or she can watch out for suspicious activity.

This time of year families like to travel to neighborhoods to see lights and decorations, and Willoughby warned against leaving windows and blinds open.

Though it allows passers by to see the Christmas tree, he said it also enables them to see your other belongings, such as a television or computer.

“You’re telling people what you have inside your home,” Willoughby said.

After Christmas when it comes to disposing of gift packaging, Shumate said residents should consider either breaking down boxes and taking them to a recycling center or placing them in a black trash bag.

Leaving the box for a television or video game console outside with the trash could entice potential burglars to enter your home and search for those items, Shumate said.

In addition to securing the home, Willoughby warned area residents to also make sure their vehicles are locked. Unlocked cars parked outside could provide a burglar with access to the home, he said.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.