Unfortunately, the winter holidays are peak times for thieves and burglars. Not only are burglaries of Santa Cruz County homes at their highest during the darkest months of the year, there’s also the added temptation of unoccupied Santa Cruz County homes full of expensive gifts.
A recent survey found that 39% of homeowners leave presents under the tree long before Christmas Day, with only 7% of respondents waiting until Christmas Day itself to put the presents on display in their Santa Cruz County homes. If gifts are in full view of passers-by who can see them through the windows, they could provide an incentive for thieves to target the house.
Take greater security measures during the holidays to keep yourself and your property safe.
1. Don’t hide presents in obvious locations such as closets, under the bed or in the garage. Instead, hide gifts in an attic. The average burglar doesn’t have time to climb into your attic.
2. Keep window shades drawn. If your gifts are easily visible from the street, burglars will be tempted to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages.
3. Don’t discard whole boxes in your trash. This gives thieves easy clues about what they can steal from your home. Instead, break the boxes up into small pieces and place them in your recycling bin or at the bottom of a sealed garbage bag.
4. Create a lived in look and feel. Before leaving your home, turn on lights and a radio or television.
5. Ask a neighbor or close friend to pick up your mail and newspapers if you go out of town for the holidays.
6. Lock up. Make sure all doors and windows are locked. Consider replacing your locks if they’re worn. Use deadbolts in entry doors.
7. Keep the garage, gates, driveway, and sides of your home well lit. Motion sensor lights work well for this.
If you’re looking for a home already equipped with an alarm system or other security features, I can help you find one. Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com. For additional information visit my website at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com.