Police urge Columbia residents to prevent spring break burglaries

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | 9:56 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — As residents leave for spring break, Columbia police remind them to take precautions, as extended absences create a greater risk of burglary.

According to a previous Missourian article, spring break burglaries during MU's spring break in 2011 totaled 16 — one more than 2010.

Much like in previous years, the Police Department has plans to deploy additional resources during spring break.

Preventing burglaries and break-ins includes the use of:

  • Uniformed and plainclothes personnel
  • Marked and unmarked police vehicles
  • Additional targeted neighborhood patrol in areas identified as higher targets

Citizens are encouraged to be attentive in their neighborhoods and advise police of any suspicious activity, vehicles or people. When contacting police, it is helpful to include:

  • Descriptions
  • License plate numbers
  • Last locations observed

The Police Department urges residents to take the following precautions when leaving for a prolonged time period:

  • Leave ample exterior/interior lights on, or use timers.
  • Arrange for pickup of mail, newspapers and packages.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are secure.
  • Disable automatic garage doors.
  • Travel with expensive items, such as laptops, cameras, televisions or jewelry. 
  • Give the residence the appearance that someone is home.

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