“Of particular concern is the increase in residential burglaries and the potential of those numbers climbing as we near the holiday season when many homes are filled with gifts or left unoccupied while we shop or travel,” said Edmonds Police Sgt. Don Anderson. A common theme in residential burglaries, Anderson said, is that burglars attempt to ensure that the home is unoccupied before they break in. “Commonly a suspect will ring the door bell or knock on the front door and if they receive no answer they will go to a more secluded part of the house and force entry through a door or window,” he said. “If someone knocks on your door you should do something to make sure they know someone is home, whether you choose to answer the door or not.”
If you do answer the door for someone and they do not appear to have a legitimate reason for being there, call 911 and report it, Anderson advised, providing as much detail as you can about the subject and any vehicles that they may be associated with. The most effective tool the police have in thwarting home burglaries is the alert homeowner reporting suspicious persons or activities in their neighborhoods, he added.
The Edmonds Police Department recommends the following home safety tips:
Before leaving on a holiday vacation or trip be sure to remember the following:
- Avoid advertising, especially in front of strangers, that you will be leaving home for the holidays (this includes social media sites).
- If available, use the phone company’s call forwarding to forward all your calls.
- Suspend newspaper deliveries and have your mail held at the post office.
- Have a trusted neighbor watch your home while you are gone.
- Make sure your home looks occupied while you are away and make it difficult to break in.
- Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway.
- Use timers on your lights.
Tips at Home:
- Keep the outside of your home well-lit with doors locked and window curtains closed.
- Do not display gifts beneath the Christmas tree that can be seen from windows or doors.
- After the holidays, do not advertise gifts received by leaving boxes for the garbage collection. Instead, destroy or flatten for closure in a recycle bin.