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Don't get ripped off this Thanksgiving

Nov. 24, 2008

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 Thanksgiving weekend.

In the past, Kalamazoo public safety officers have reported an increased number of break-ins during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Police reports show that many of these incidents could have been prevented if the residents had made sure doors and windows were secured and locked.

"Leaving items of value in plain sight is an invitation for home and vehicle break-ins," says WMU Deputy Police Chief Blaine Kalafut, who offers several tips to keep property safe.

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.
  • Temporarily discontinue mail and newspaper services when you are out of town for an extended period.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your place while you are away.
  • Take laptops, iPods and other valuables with you when you leave for the holiday.
  • 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.
  • Never leave personal identification documents, credit cards or checks in your vehicle, even if they are concealed from view.

Media contact: Tonya Durlach (269) 387-4800, tonya.durlach@wmich.edu

WMU News
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