There’s some good news and bad news to report about home theft. The good news is that property crimes are down substantially in the United States. According to the latest statistics released by the FBI, property crimes fell more than 4 percent last year when contrasted with 2012, marking the 11th straight year in which these types of offenses diminished.
The bad news is that when property crimes do occur, they frequently take place around the holiday season, increasing by as much as 7 percent versus the rest of the year, according to the FBI.
As you might imagine, the reason why is because there are more “things” for thieves to steal as families prepare for the Christmas by checking off items on their loved ones’ holiday wish lists. But if you don’t exercise the proper precautions, the presents you intend to give out on the big day may wind up being absconded with by pickpockets.
The following are a few security steps to keep in mind so your holiday purchases aren’t made off with when you least expect it.
Sign for all deliveries
The Internet has made Christmas shopping a breeze. Just point and click to the items you want so you can get other things accomplished while it makes its way to your home package via delivery The only problem is when packages are left by mail carriers at the doorstep if no one’s at home, serving as a crime of opportunity for thieves lying in wait. Though there aren’t any official numbers on how many doorstep thefts take place per year, these incidents are particularly frequent around the holidays, as reported by The New York Times.
Home theft increases 7 percent during the holidays, according to FBI statistics.
To prevent them from happening, arrange to have someone sign a document or receipt when packages are due to be delivered. This can be done by getting in touch with your mail carrier or shipping company. Parcel delivery services like UPS have programs that you can sign up for that allow you to manage when your packages are sent and how they’re received.
Keep purchased items hidden
When you’re at the mall or in a department store, you probably make several stops at your car to drop off some of your purchased items. What far too many people fail to do is hide their belonging before returning to shop for more. All a thief has to do is peer through the window to see what’s inside. Ideally, store all your gift items in the trunk so that they’re hidden from view. You may also want to hide smaller purchases under the seats.
Install a home security system
There are few more glorious sites than a Christmas tree teeming with presents wrapped beneath it. Unfortunately, thieves would agree, as thousands of dollars in merchandise are there for the taking.
In addition to locking the doors and closing your shades or blinds, perhaps your best defense against property crime is through a reliable home security alarm. Not only do they alert you of a breach if there’s a break-in attempt, but they may also be able to help you save money on your homeowners insurance plan. Many systems include cameras, which can help you keep an eye on all your home’s points of entry. Camera technology has advanced so much over the years that they can be almost impossible detect because they’re so small.
By following these steps, you can help ensure that the gift giving season is a safe and happy one.