By Sergeant Mark Buschena
The holiday season is a prime time for parties in the home. It’s hard to imagine that someone you invite into your home for a party would commit a crime, but it’s true. And the larger your party, the more likely something will get stolen or damaged. Thefts during a party can be greatly reduced by following these simple precautions:
1. Put your valuables away in safe places. Your bedroom is an obvious place for thieves. I can probably predict to within a few square feet where your valuables are in your home. Ladies, yours are in the bedroom, on top of your dresser, or in the top drawer. This is where you keep your jewelry, watches, wallets, purses and other valuables. Men, if you’ve got firearms, you’ve got them stored where you can get your hands on them at night, so I’d look in the nightstand near the bed. Thieves know this too. So when you have a party, lock-up these items, hide them or lock your bedroom door (if you’ve got a lock on the door more substantial than one that can be picked with a bobby pin.)
2. Be a good host and collect your guests’ coats when they arrive and retrieve them from wherever they were kept when your guests leave. This helps prevent people from wandering through your home.
3. Only allow invited guests into your home. Uninvited guests may not be well known to you, and may not respect you or your property. The real trouble begins when you invite the whole bar crowd to your home at closing time.
4. Keep the number of guests to a manageable number and keep the activities centrally located. The more people you have in your home, the greater the chance for loss.
Most of us would never dream of committing a crime in a friend’s home, holiday time or not. Police Department files are full of reports from victims who were ripped off by their supposed “friends” during parties. Don’t give a thief the chance to commit a “crime of opportunity.” Before your next gathering, take a few steps to keep your property “party-proof.”
Sgt. Mark Buschena is the author of “The Naked Truth About Personal Protection.” Check it out at www.defendyourselfnow.com