SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - More than 55 million Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving.
That’s the most since 2005, according to a travel prediction by AAA. While millions are away, it allows vulnerability for crooks to take advantage of an empty home.
As the Chatham County Police Department explained, there are steps you can take to make your home less of a target. To deter a thief, it’s all about having good visibility.
“You want to make sure that all of your shrubbery, your grass your bushes and everything like that is maintained, said Danielle Pimental, Chatham County Police Community Liaison officer. “So the bushes in front of the residence should be no higher than three feet tall.”
When you're not at home, your home should like someone is there.
If the back is lit up and the front is lit up, the neighbors can see them (a suspicious person). Someone driving down the street, they may see them and (think) ‘hey, this looks suspicious, there is someone outside.’ And they may call,” Pimental said. “So, it's better to have everything well lit than not lit because when it's not well lit and they can conceal. You can't see them.“
If you want more eyes on your property, police suggest installing security cameras. That way you can see who is on your property and if a crime's committed, you can share the video with police.
Inside the house, you’ll want to make sure the windows are locked and the curtains and blinds drawn.
“So that when someone walks by they can’t see directly into your house,” Pimental said. “So if someone is casing your house during the daytime or when it is well lit and no one is home. They can see directly inside and may come back at a later time when no one is home and try to receive those items.”
Also, be careful who you tell that you’re out of town.
“Don't post it on Facebook or social media that you're out of town because that can give burglars a the sense that you're out of town,” Pimental said. “That this person isn't home at this time and then you might have a break in during then.”
Another tip police provided is to lock the door that leads from your garage into your home. The garage door should be closed, but if someone were to get into your garage, a locked door that leads into your home is an extra layer of protection, Pimental said.
The number of burglaries from Thanksgiving through Christmas actually decreased last year compared to other times of the year, according to Chatham County Police. The city of Savannah saw a similar trend, according to data provided by Savannah Police Department.
Here’s a look at the neighborhoods in 2018 that had the highest reports of burglaries: