It would put the worst of dampers on your holiday season: coming home after a wonderful time with your family to find your home broken into.
Wausau Police Department Patrol Officer Max Laport said this time of year makes it easy for those burglars to bust in.
"I'm pretty much like the neighborhood watch," neighbor Shawn Thake said.
Thake said he does his part to keep his neighborhood safe, and he pays closer attention now that the holidays are here.
"If anything suspicious is going on, I let the neighbor know the suspicious activity is happening," Thake said.
However, if you don't have good neighbors looking our for your home when you're away, it's up to you to prevent burglars from breaking in.
"People need to look at it like it could happen to the instead of it could never happen to them," Laport said. "They need to take proper actions to prevent it."
Laport said a deadlock will help keep burglars outside, but if they make it inside to find your brand-new, flat screen TV, make sure you write the serial number on the back of it, or any electronic you own, so if found police can identify it. As for the brand new TV box, make sure you break it down so no one knows you have a television in your house in the first place.
"At this time of year, it's the driveways that aren't shoveled the footsteps going up to the house, the mailboxes that aren't full or overflowing no lights on in the house," Laport said. "Things of that nature make it really obvious that you aren't home."
Laport said break-ins aren't typically planned.
"Somebody is walking through late at night, and they say hey looks like no one's been here in a while," Laport said.
So bust down the box from your brand new television before you throw it away, and make sure you lock your doors.
And if those aren't options for you, find a neighbor like Thake to keep watch.
"Christmas is about looking our for another an when someone is in a time of need," Thake said. "Don't be afraid to help them out."
So your holiday can end just as safe as it started.
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