BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Black Friday for many marks the start of the holiday madness.
And police say, this can also be the busiest time of the year for criminals. Statistically, a burglary in the United States every 15 seconds.
The holiday season is a time of giving– and means more opportunities for criminals to take.
“Crime definitely does go up during the holidays,” Canfield Police Officer Dustin Cover said. “Whether that’s crime from people following the UPS drivers around and getting packages, or looking in windows to see if there’s any presents.”
There are a few simple steps you can take to stay safe.
“During the holiday season you have a lot of gifts being given, and with that said you have a lot of trash being taken to the curb with TVs and other high end items like that,” Cover said. “Instead of taking those boxes to the curb, you can take those items to a recycling center.”
Officer Cover says empty boxes on the curb is a major red flag for criminals. The key is to make it look like you’re at home. If you’re not going to be home, the police department says they can help.
“A lot of police departments including the city of Canfield Police Department do house watches while you’re away on vacation,” Cover said. “We will drive by your house to make sure everything is OK.”
Rick Metzinger is the general manager at SOS security, and also has this tip.
“If you have a security system, your first line of defense is your sign that you have out front,” Metzinger said. “Criminals see that sign and say, ‘Well, should I break in here or go to the house next door that doesn’t have a sign?'”