Burglary

Whether its folks being out of town for holiday events or just the idea that there may be  Christmas presents inside, burglars are on the alert for a quick strike this time of year.

More homes in Texas are broken into on Dec. 1 than any other day of the year, according to data from Allstate Insurance.

Allstate analyzed claims data over the last 10 years (2009-2018) and found more customers in Texas experienced home burglary claims on Dec. 1 than any other day of the year.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said residents should be as proactive as they can in avoiding break-ins.

"Alarm systems are great. Camera systems are great and folks have had a lot of success with door bell cameras," Hillhouse said. “Think twice before you advertise your Thanksgiving travel plans on social media or leaving your Black Friday shopping boxes out on the curb. The last thing you want is for a break-in to ruin your holiday fun.”

"Make sure everything is locked up," Hillhouse said. "Don't give them easy access. Do everything to slow them down. Sometimes burglaries happen in clusters in a particular area.”

"A lot of times you saw several because it was the same folks doing the break-ins," Hillhouse said.

Lately, he hasn't seen any particular part of the county targeted by thieves.

"We have burglaries reported all the time, but it's throughout the county," Hillhouse said. "A lot of times when you see cycles it's equipment thefts, ATVs and things like that."

Law enforcement officers remind homeowners to be sure items are marked and listed to help recover them in case of theft.

When it comes to electronics, don’t leave the empty boxes on the curb, as they may invite burglars to steal your new items.

To help protect your home and make it less appealing to burglars, here are four safety tips from Allstate:

1. Lock up

Even if you’re just running out on a short errand, make sure all doors and windows are locked. Steel doors and deadbolt locks provide the best security. Also, always keep your garage door shut and locked.

2. Advertise deterrents

An alarm system is an excellent deterrent to crime, as long as it’s used consistently. The system should include a loud siren and motion sensors. Display security system decals on your windows and doors.  

3. Don’t publicize your plans

Be careful when tweeting or posting Facebook and Instagram updates about the vacation you’re on or the event you’re at. If you are away, keep lights on a timer, have your mail and newspaper delivery stopped and ask a family member or trusted neighbor to pick up any packages or flyers left outside.

4. Know what you've got.

If you become the unfortunate victim of theft, it will make the claim process easier if you have a complete inventory of any missing items.

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