COLUMBIA — On Christmas Eve, 21 homes were burglarized in Columbia, compared to only four reported last year, according to Police Department reports.
This spike in burglaries is the latest development in rates that have been increasing since November, prompting the department to dub it a "crime spree."
There were 42 burglaries reported in November; December saw 74 burglaries total.
Common items stolen included gaming systems, video games, guns, movies, laptops and flat-screen TVs, which burglars can easily sell. Student housing areas are primary targets because burglars know they will be gone for holiday vacation, Public Information Officer Jessie Haden said.
If you reside in an area that is susceptible to burglary, and relocation is not a feasible option, it is best to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police immediately through CrimeStoppers 875-8477.
The Columbia Police Department offers these Burglary Prevention tips to help deter home burglaries.
With the recent rash of burglaries in Columbia, what are you doing to keep your home safe?