A warning to homeowners during the holidays about thieves

BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — Home burglaries — you hear about them often and hope it never happens to you.

“Drawers thrown places and furniture with holes punched in it. It’s completely violating,” said Erica, who asked we not use her last name. She had her Litchfield County home broken into and ransacked just a few days ago. She and her husband were out of state at the time.

“It’s disbelief,” said Erica. “You don’t think it can happen to you. People tell you stuff you should do and you understand it, but it’s one of these things you don’t think will happen.”

Criminals are always looking for opportunity. Especially this time of year when people are away and distracted by the holidays.

“Their objective is to get into the house as quick as possible, grab what they can and get out,” said Lt. Richard Guerrera with the Bristol Police Department. He explains that burglars are often looking for mail or newspapers that are piling up, a driveway that’s not plowed, and a dark house. All signs that nobody is home.

“It definitely helps having the lights on at different periods of time,” said Lt. Guerrera. That’s where timers can come in handy, making it look like a person is home.

On Christmas many people will be getting big, expensive gifts. You then take those large boxes and throw them at the end of your driveway right next to the recycling bin. That could be a problem.

“You’re broadcasting you have a brand new TV, or Play Station so I suggest cutting the boxes up and putting them in the recycling bin. Maybe wait a week or so,” said Guerrera.

People are encouraged to have a neighbor look after their house if they are going to be away, or at least let them know you’ll be out of town. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood give the police a call. Finally, don’t be broadcasting your every move on social media.

“You just don’t know, there’s evil everywhere so just be careful and aware,” said Erica.

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