With celebrations, last-minute gift-shopping, and friends and family visiting, it's easy to lose sight of some simple precautions that can prevent burglars from stealing your holiday cheer.
Sergeant Tim James with the Macon Police Department visits Eyewitness News Mornin' each month to offer expertise on personal safety and self defense.
Friday, he shared some practical and simple home security tips to help make your holiday season a safe one:
1. Join a local neighborhood watch group: This is one of the most powerful ways to protect your home and neighborhood from criminals!
2. Rent a storage building: Leave large purchased items in a protected shortage building. Most of these companies have guard service or 24-hour camera protection against break-ins.
3. Never leave Christmas presents under the old Christmas tree before Christmas morning: This is what criminals are hoping you will do. This makes their job of stealing your items easier.
4. Leave large purchased items at the store until Christmas Eve: Most stores will hold this type of purchased items for you until Christmas Eve night. You can pick them up for transportation back to your home to make sure they get home safe.
5. Hide gifts in the attic, basement or closets: Make sure if you bring gifts home that you try your best to hide the items out of site of criminals so as to make them look harder to find them inside the home.
6. Place fake gifts under the old Christmas tree: Trick criminals into thinking that they are stealing your gifts if they make it inside your home by placing fake presents filled with wood chips or bricks under your Christmas tree!
7. Never leave gift boxes out by the road for garbage pick-up: This will alert criminals to what's inside your home. Take the boxes to land fills or cut them up into smaller pieces and place them inside a large trash bag to be picked up by the waste disposal service.
Sergeant James asks anyone who wants to get involved with Macon Neighborhood Watch to call coordinator Judy Gordon at 478-751-2797.