The holiday season is usually reserved for family and cheer – but sometimes burglars make unwanted criminal appearances.
In Gainesville, police officers take preventative action during November and December to reduce the higher number of break-ins, said Officer Ben Tobias.
“We readjust some of our patrols (and) make sure we’re going to the high traffic areas,” said Tobias. “Shopping malls and centers, where people are going to be.”
During the holiday season, it’s normal for the department to have a few more burglaries than usual, Tobias said.
“For the past few years we’ve noticed more residential burglaries, so we shift our resources to make sure they don’t happen,” Tobias explained.
Burglaries, however, aren’t the only threats during this time of year. Jorgia McAfee, vice president of development at Gainesville Crime Prevention and Security Systems, said each holiday has its own pattern.
“Typically around Thanksgiving, we see a spike in fires, people frying a turkey
for the first time and not knowing what to do,” McAfee said.
Although McAfee also pointed out that burglaries are high during the holiday season, she said there are plenty of ways to keep a home safe.
“Keeping your doors locked during the day time – it’s a good thing. A lot of break-ins happen during day time hours,” McAfee said. “Most people think break-ins usually occur at night, but most happen during the day when people are at work.”
Mcafee also said having a neighbor collect mail, making sure all windows and doors remain locked, and keeping the areas around the house well-lit can help deter thieves.