xmas

Don’t fall victim to a crime this holiday season

The busy holiday season provides numerous chances for crimes of opportunity.

From robberies to identity theft, criminals are looking for ways to steal your gifts, credit card information, cars and anything else they can take easily.

Safety starts at home

Burglaries increase by 11% during the holidays, and property stolen from vehicles increases 17%.

And there are some risky behaviors that can increase the chances of a robbery claim. More than 50% of Americans say they have left a door unlocked for a friend or family member and 52% have left a key hidden somewhere. This also means easy access for would-be burglars.

Frequently, Christmas trees are near doors or windows, providing burglars with a clear view of the presents under the tree. Consider storing gifts out of sight and putting them under the tree Christmas Eve to make them less enticing to thieves. Use timers for lights throughout the house to make the home appear occupied and help keep robbers away. Make sure doors and windows are locked before leaving or going to bed.

Related: Christmas tree fires: A deadly hazard you can prevent

While you’re spreading some holiday cheer this season, don’t forget to take these precautions to avoid becoming an unintended victim.