AUSTIN (KXAN) — The number one thing Austin Police said you can do to prevent becoming a victim of holiday crime is to watch your surroundings. It sounds simple, said Cpl. Destiny Silva, but distractions are everywhere.
Silva gave KXAN five tips to keep thieves from stealing your joy and more.
Turn down the volume
“Some people sometimes put headphones in when they’re walking around shopping, because it can be noisy,” said Silva, but that can distract you from your surroundings. “If you aren’t going to do that, that’s fine. Just make sure you have one in your ear. Or if you’re looking down at your cell phone, you know, you want to make sure you’re looking at, especially when you’re crossing, you know, in a parking lot or when you’re making purchases.”
Get a doorbell camera
Every year, holiday gift deliveries are stolen from front porches. Video can help police.
“The more information you provide, the better, and it will help us hopefully solve that crime,” Silva said.
Don’t overshare on social media
“Be very mindful of your social media posts, especially around holiday season. I recommend if you absolutely have to post about your vacation, maybe do it once you get back, don’t do it at the time that you’re going to be gone and advertise that information, because you never know who’s watching or who paying attention. The same goes for any gifts you might be receiving or any of those gifts that you might purchase. I would avoid advertising that information, if at all possible,” Silva explained.
Watch what you throw away
Police said after the holidays, people open their gifts and leave the box on the curb to be recycled. You may unknowingly give thieves an idea of what’s inside your home.
“Criminals can, and they will pay attention to these types of things. So, you really want to avoid doing things like that,” Silva said.
Decorations can attract thieves
“A lot of people, because they have beautiful Christmas trees this time of year and presents out, they will open up the blinds or their window. I would avoid doing that as well. You’re kind of advertising what’s inside your house and putting it there in plain view,” Silva said. “So again … definitely share with your family and your trusted friends, but just be mindful of that because you don’t want to invite any unwanted criminal activity, especially into your home.”