Tips to keep thieves out

By Kiri Gillespie

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Police are warning people not to unwittingly invite burglars into homes this Christmas.

All too often the "hot property" takes pride of place in the home and the boxes are discarded outside for recycling.

Police say it's tantamount to putting a sign on your door saying: "look what I got for Christmas, come and burgle me".

Prevention manager Inspector Scott Fraser said: "It's easy with all the excitement and distraction of Christmas to take your eye off the ball and not consider the simple things that will help keep you and your home safe.

"Keeping wrapped gifts hidden from view before Christmas taking the boxes to the recycling depot after Christmas could be all it takes to prevent you from having an intruder in your home."

Other measures you can take include:

Make sure your house, vehicles, sheds and garages are secured at all times;

Keep valuables and wrapped presents out of view;

Make the house look lived in - have someone open and close curtains and collect mail;

Let neighbours know if you are going away;

Make a list of property and record serial numbers;

Mark property so it can be easily identified if recovered and take photos of unique items;

Keep important documents and valuation certificates in a safe place;

Report suspicious activity to police.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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