Holiday safety

As the leaves turn and fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving are behind us. Our thoughts soon turn to the holiday season, Christmas and New Year’s. As we approach the season, we will soon be focusing on holiday decorations. Here are a few tips to prevent our outdoor lights and other decorations from falling into the hands of the holiday grinch.

* Shut down at night: If lights are on and drawing attention all night when you’re asleep, they’re likelier to attract thieves. Set a timer to turn off displays during the wee hours of the night, or shut them off when you go to bed.

* Set up surveillance: Home surveillance can increase the chance of catching thieves and recovering items. Doorbell cameras are becoming more common and affordable, and retail for as low as $99. Options such as Ring let you upload footage to online neighborhood networks and share with local police.

* Crime-proof your yard: Trimmed bushes and motion-activated lights are two environmental design tips.

* Consider bringing in valuable items at night. Consider ways to make your more valuable decorations mobile to bring in before bed.

* Stay connected: It is common for decoration thieves to hit more than one property in a neighborhood. Staying connected with neighbors and sharing information and video footage can help identify faces and vehicles to share with police.

* Report, report, report: Report all theft, no matter how big or small. “If you don’t report, we won’t know about it.”