Apartments on and around the Georgia Southern University campus will empty when final exams finish Friday as students head home for the Christmas holidays. University police chief Mike Russell knows that period can seem like an invitation to crooks to burglarize vacant buildings. But tricks like a wooden stick in the window can help.
"If you wedge it in vertically where it touches the top of the bottom window and the sill up above, the bottom window won't raise," he demonstrated to WTOC at an apartment in Freedom's Landing. "You have to break the window to get inside."
Russell said simple attention to detail can lower the risk of burglary. Lock all doors, utilize a deadbolt if the door has one. This includes doors inside a screened porch or patio.
"People sometimes forget those and crooks don't mind cutting screen wire," he noted.
In addition, he cautioned apartment residents - student or not - to close blinds on their windows so crooks can't see what's inside. He also urged apartment residents - no matter where they live - to meet their neighbors and establish contacts so residents who stick around can keep an apartments of those who are gone. Likewise, call your local authorities if you see something suspicious.
Russell also suggested residents contact their local authorities if/when they leave town on vacation. Many agencies will conduct safety checks on a regular basis if requested.