How To Keep Property Safe During Holidays

Duke Police offer safety tips to Duke community

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Duke Police are encouraging students, faculty and staff to keep property safe this holiday season. Photo illustration by Big Stock Photo.

As the winter holiday season approaches, Duke community members can make some small changes to avoid being a victim of any holiday Grinches.Officers with the Duke University Police Department are reminding employees and students to practice safety precautions to deter property crime, which typically experiences a slight uptick over the holidays."We don't want to take the path of least resistance when it comes to protecting ourselves and our property," said Eric Hester, crime prevention officer with Duke Police. "Our vehicles and homes don't have special meaning to criminals like they do for us. Criminals don't care what they damage or take."Brad Hinton discovered that fact one evening in November when he returned to his Ford Escape parked in a lot by Chapel Drive after he finished class at the Duke Divinity School.When he reached his vehicle, he saw the front, passenger-side door smashed. Inside, his CD player was missing."I had never had problems with theft before, but I'm trying to mind my Ps and Qs more now," he said. "It's just stuff, so there's no need to get bent out of shape about it, but it was certainly inconvenient."After reporting the incident to the Duke University Police Department, Hinton said he took advice of officers and now removes the faceplate of his new CD player that has the screen and buttons, which might deter theft.Hester said that the best way to protect against theft during the holiday season is by avoiding crimes of opportunity by being aware of surroundings and simply using common sense. He said simple things like stowing and securing valuables go a long way toward deterring property crime."Whether we're at home or work, it's always important to remember these things because crime can happen anywhere," Hester said. "It sounds redundant, but criminals pay attention to the things we do and don't do, so we just have to be smart about our actions."For more information about personal and property safety, visit the Duke Police website.