Protecting Yourself From Holiday Heists

Many of us will be traveling to spend time with their loved ones for the holidays, but this makes your home a perfect target for thieves.

The Wichita Falls Police Department said home robberies are more common during the holidays because people are out.  One of the common mistakes, is people forgetting to lock their doors.  Another mistake, is not checking their windows.

"The individual that's going to prey on that knows that the opportunity is there, it increases," Sgt. Harold McClure with the W.F.P.D. said.

However, there are simple ways to protect your home.  The obvious ones are to lock your doors and windows.  However, that's not the only thing you should do, especially if you're going to be gone for a few days.

"If you're going to be gone, you want to make sure that your mail is being picked up.  If you have a paper delivered you want to make sure those get picked up," Sgt. McClure said.

If your mail piles up, it's a clear sign for thieves that you're not home.  Another sign, is not having any lights on, but you don't just want one light on.

He said, "Spread that around because if it's the same light coming on at the same time and going off at the same time, well you know people that are watching your home, that's a good clue that there's probably no one there."

Another great tip, is to have your television on a set timer to turn on and off.  The T.V. provides sound, so the thief might think someone is home.  Something else you should do, tell your neighbors you're not going to be home.  They can look out for anything suspicious, or pickup your mail for you.

You can always put your house on a patrol check with the W.F.P.D.  They will come out and check the area to make sure there is nothing suspicious going on.

Many people like to post pictures , or update their status on social media sites about what they are doing, but thieves are looking for them.  According to a new study, 73-percent of thieves look on social media site, like Facebook and Instagram, to find out when you're not home.  So, you need to be careful.

One thing you should do, is change your privacy settings.  Make it so know one, except for your friends on Facebook can see your posts.  However, even when you do that, you never know.

McClure said, "They're out there doing their homework and this is part of it."

Something else you might not think about.  After you open all of your gifts, you will have all the wrapping and boxes to throw out.  Well, thieves look at your trash to see what you got.

"When you're done with your packages and you're going to dispose of them, you're going to throw them away," he said, "Make sure they're tucked away in the trash, the garbage, or the dumpster."

If you don't, you are making your home a target for thieves, again.

, Newschannel 6