JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One positive side effect of the pandemic is certain crimes, such as burglaries, are down since more people are staying home. However, the Christmas season can allow thieves to window shop and find homes with big-ticket items they want.
News4Jax crime and safety expert, Ken Jefferson, says little do homeowners know, thieves regularly scope-out houses and peep through windows looking for items they may want while no one is home. Especially this time of year.
“They can’t walk by and leave it there,” Jefferson said. “They’ve got to have it, they’ve got to break into your house, break into your car because that’s what thieves do.”
That’s why Jefferson says if your tree is visible from a window, it might not be a bad idea to wait until Christmas Eve night or even early Christmas morning before putting presents underneath it. He also advises closing your curtains or blinds. Quite a few people forget to do this.
“If you’re going to display your lights, display them for a couple of hours, close your drapes at night,” Jefferson said. “People will look into your window and come break into your house when you’re not there.”
It’s not just what is inside your house. Thieves are also scoping out what’s on your curb in the days after Christmas. If you bought a computer, TV, or any other electronic device, you know it comes in a large box. Jefferson says if you leave those boxes on your curb for trash day, the thieves now know what’s inside your home and what they want to come back for.
“Always recycle that stuff, conceal it into your recyclable container,” Jefferson said. “Or take it away from your home.”
As always, enjoy your Christmas goodies, but continue smart, easy safety practices.
Jefferson also reminds people not to leave valuables, including Christmas presents, inside cars for any period of time.
Thieves will gladly steal them if they’re in plain sight.