As Thanksgiving, shopping season approaches police heighten focus on burglary prevention

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:10 PM CST
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - As Central Texans take time off from their busy lives to enjoy Thanksgiving with loved ones, local police officers continue to work to keep burglars away from the homes of those traveling out of town.

It is predicted this will be a busy travel season and police have launched a proactive effort to watch your house for you while you’re out of town.

“If you let us know that you’re gone it’s not going to be like the movie ‘Home Alone,’” said Candice Griffin, support services manager for the Belton Police Department.

If you are on the road this week, you may want to let police or a close friend know. Many police officers recommend not posting it on social media.

“We try to tell them ‘look, protecting your property, especially when you’re out of the area, is just as important,’” said Lt. Jay Leach, with the Harker Heights Police Department.

Programs are in place to give police a heads-up and they can check in on homes while you are out.

“So we anticipate a lot more travelers and so we just want to offer that to as many people as we can,” said Griffin.

But if you are more comfortable with friends watching over your property, police say deterring burglars can be simple.

One recommendation is to leave some lights on as if you were home.

“Just something as simple as just rotating your vehicles that are left there on scene to make it look like people are coming in and going out,” said Leach.

With holiday shopping starting soon after Thanksgiving, there are a lot more targets out there.

“You don’t want to put that on the side of the street, break those boxes down,” said Griffin. “You don’t want people to know what you have inside your house.”

So that means this is a busy time of the year for many departments.

“As I like to say, ‘tis the season,” said Leach. “Unfortunately, it brings it out in some people.”

Below is a list of other area programs to have an officer or sheriff’s deputy look over homes:

Bell County Vacation Watch

Waco Home Security Vacation Checks

Harker Heights House Watch Program

Belton Vacation Watch Form

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