Holiday gifts are invitations for thieves

Posted December 13, 2012 7:52 p.m. EST
Updated December 13, 2012 7:57 p.m. EST

— The holidays are a time of reflection, celebration and giving, but while you're busy with family and friends, police say, thieves could be out for your gifts.

Besides the obvious – locking your doors – Cary police officer John Reeves says there are other easy things you can do to help prevent being a victim this holiday season – starting with the door.

"Actually, the weakest point is not normally the lock itself, but it’s the strike plate," he said.

The strike plate is a metal plate attached to the door jamb with holes for the bolt of the door. Because it can usually be removed with a crowbar, Reeves recommends specifically checking to make sure the screws holding the hardware in door frame are long enough.

Outdoor lights and alarms, he says, are some of the best deterrents to theft.

"Dogs are also a good thing, especially the barkers," Reeves said.

One of the things that can be a problem is large windows, in which would-be thieves can see inside a home and see what's there to steal.

If you're not home, Reeves says, shut your blinds or curtains. And keep Christmas gifts out of sight.

When it comes to packages, if you're not home, have a neighbor pick them up. Another option is to have packages delivered to another address. Some delivery companies, such as UPS and FedEx, also offer options to pick them up at their shipping stores.