Tips to avoid becoming a victim of holiday theft - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tips to avoid becoming a victim of holiday theft

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Homeowners are a special target for thieves, and compared to the national average, Georgia theft claims are 51 percent higher during the holidays.

Change in activities and behaviors can leave an invitation for burglars, but there are some preventative actions you can take to avoid becoming a victim of holiday theft.

First, move the Christmas tree away from the window, or wait until Christmas Day to put the gifts under the tree.

Second, if you go on vacation for the holiday, wait until you get home to post pictures on social media. Posting them while you're away informs burglars that your house may be unoccupied.

Finally, while sprucing up for family, or even after opening presents, make sure you don't put those big appliance and toy boxes out at the curb.

Allstate Agency Owner David Askew says you should also be acquainted with your neighbors.

"If you're a member of a neighborhood watch, that's a great thing, but even if you don't have a neighborhood watch, be aware of what's going on around you at your neighbor's house," says Askew. "And you know, don't be afraid to go and introduce yourself and say, ‘Hey, I'm here if you ever need any help or I'll keep my eyes open.' If you do see suspicious activity of course alert the proper authorities."

In case your home does get broken into, it is good practice to keep a record of your purchases and the contents of your home to provide your insurance company while filing your claim. Electronic back-ups of the information are a good option to ensure that the list will not be lost in case of fire or flood.

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