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Tips for keeping your home safe during the holidays

BY: Community Papers of WNY Staff | December 12, 2012

TONAWANDA - The Town of Tonawanda Police Department would like to make people aware of numerous burglaries that have occurred over the past several weeks and remind them to take steps that might protect them from being victimized.

A number of residential burglaries are occurring and are all believed to have been committed during the daytime hours while the residents are not home. In several cases, entry was made through unlocked doors. Cash, jewelry, lap tops and televisions have been among the items taken.

We would like to use these incidents as a reminder to be aware of the increase in burglaries during the holidays. Many people are doing their holiday shopping and have accumulated valuables in their home that wouldnít be there at other times of the year. Burglars know this. They also know many people are at work during the day. Although there are no guarantees, taking some simple steps can reduce your chances of being victimized.

To begin, if you see something suspicious, call the police. We might be able to prevent a crime or gain valuable information about other crimes being committed in the area that leads to an arrest. Alarm systems are excellent for home security as well as peace of mind, if that is an option you can afford. Locking your doors is highly recommended. This alone may discourage a would-be burglar. Sliding glass doors and older wooden doors with push-button locks and glass panes are particularly vulnerable. Install a more modern door with dead bolt locks and not only secure the sliding door with the lock, but also with a piece of wood along the track to stop it from opening. Close and lock the garage door. These are often left open and allow easy access if attached to the house.

Close and lock windows, especially at night or when leaving the house. Motion lights are also a worthwhile investment. They can act as a deterrent as well as alert you to activity on your property. Other standard advice, such as leaving lights or televisions on while not home, still applies. Some more involved tips often include such things as engraving identification markings into your valuables, photocopying the contents of your wallet and getting a home safe. Last, but not least, is to be a good neighbor. Communicate often, build some mutual trust and watch each otherís homes. The bottom line is to make your home look occupied and difficult to break in.

Anyone with information about the recent crimes should call our Criminal Investigation Bureau at 879-6633 or the Confidential Tip Line at 879-6606.

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