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Columbia police remind residents to practice burglary prevention during holiday season

Columbia police are asking residents to safeguard their valuables before leaving their home for the holidays.

Police said last year between Nov. 18 and Nov. 29 there were 14 reported residential burglaries in Columbia. Officers said the burglaries were not concentrated in a certain area of town.

“You tend to see an increase in burglaries during the holiday season when people are out of town traveling and away from their home,” said CPD spokesperson Bryana Larimer. “Part of that is that burglary is really an opportunistic crime.”

Larimer said the department tends to see more break-ins at student housing complexes while Mizzou students are away on break.

Officers will be patrolling those areas as well as other parts of Columbia through Thanksgiving, Larimer said.

Signal 88 Security patrols many of those student housing complexes. Owner Doug Lane said students are usually in a hurry to get out of town and forget to lock doors.

“If you’re able to have somebody come by your house or your apartment twice a day, that’s ideal just for that rotation of lights and the appearance that someone’s there,” Lane said. “It’s easier for the suspect or criminal to walk by because they don’t want to spend that much time in that area.”

Police also ask residents to:

-Keep all doors and windows closed and locked.
-Secure sliding glass doors by placing a metal rod or wooden dowel rod in the track and installing vertical bolts.
-Lock the door to an attached garage.
-Drop all blinds and shades over windows.
-Create the illusion someone is home by using timers on lights, radios and TVs.
-Keep the perimeter of the residence well lit.
-Report anything that seems suspicious.

Shelby’s Watch owners James and Renee Shelby said business is busy during the holiday season. They want to remind people to lock those back doors and doors from the garage.

“People get in a hurry and once they get in a hurry they forget something,” James said. “Sliding glass doors is the main one. You want to make sure you double check those as well.”

Police remind residents they can keep track of their valuables by recording serial numbers and uploading images of those items.

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