Don't get ripped off this holiday season
Dec. 6, 2006
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University is reminding its students, especially those in off-campus housing, to take precautions with their personal property before leaving Kalamazoo for the long holiday recess.
During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend there were several break-ins in the Vine neighborhood and in apartment complexes in the West Campus area. Kalamazoo public safety officers, who discovered many of the break-ins before the residents returned, report that several could have been prevented if the residents had made sure doors and windows were secured and locked.
"Leaving items of value in plain sight may invite home and vehicle break-ins, as thieves will try to gain access to the valuables," says WMU Deputy Police Chief Blaine Kalafut, who offers several tips to keep property safe. "These same tips apply to students living in residence halls on campus and to anyone else whose home is unoccupied over the holidays."
Home theft safety tips
Secure sliding doors and windows by placing a bar or rod in the track.
Close and lock doors and windows, even when you are home.
Do not leave valuables where they can be easily seen from windows.
Light the inside of your home to give the impression that the home is occupied.
Take laptops, iPods and other valuables with you when you leave for the holidays.
Use a security marker pen or engraver to mark your belongings. Compile a list of serial numbers for your property and keep the list in a safe place.
Call 911 immediately if you see suspicious people or activity in your neighborhood.
Vehicle theft safety tips
Always try to park in a well-lit, high-traffic area.
Roll up the windows and lock the doors when leaving your vehicle. Take the keys with you. Never leave your car running while unattended.
Never leave property in plain sight in an unattended vehicle, even if the vehicle is locked. Any property can be an appealing target to a thief.
Never leave personal identification documents, credit cards or checks in your vehicle, even if they are concealed from view.
For questions, comments, or further information, contact Kalamazoo Community Police Officer Jennifer Haba at (269) 337-8391 or Officer Andrew Bachmann of WMU DPS at (269) 387-5555.
Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org