MEDFORD, Ore. — The holiday season is prime-time for home break-ins. Police said thieves know people are going on vacation, and that they are leaving valuable items behind.
Medford police said people often leave their homes unattended for a few days while they go out of town, but they do not take precautions to keep their homes safe.
Leaving newspapers piled up, your mailbox overflowing, and lights off in and around your home are a few clues thieves look for when they are targeting a house. If you go away and leave your house unattended, it could become an easy target.
If you plan on going on vacation, police said to get a house sitter or a trusted neighbor to watch over your home while you’re gone. Also, get a timer that turns your lights on and off, leave a porch light on to make it look like someone is home.
“It’s a time of year when we have a lot of hours of darkness… the most we’ll have the entire year,” said Medford Police Lieutenant, Mike Budreau. “We have a lot of people desperate for cash, and we have a lot of people out shopping and spending money and have a lot of presents, gifts and property in their car and in their home, and the thieves know.”
Police said break-in this time of year are more costly because thieves know the person is not home, and will not be coming back soon.
“They have time to go through every door, every drawer, every room, and really clean you out, and that’s what we’ve seen, the criminals really cleaning homes out,” said Budreau.
For people going out of town, several police agencies are offering vacation checks. Vacated homes will be put on a list, and police beat officers will drive by and check out the residence periodically looking for suspicious activity.