Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–If your holiday light display shines like the Griswalds, are you inviting burglars to see what’s inside your home?

“Sometimes criminals look for targets, even houses that may be decorated,” said police Sgt. Catherine Dennis, “I’m not saying not to decorate, but sometimes they may look for that.”

Dennis outlined the dos-and-don’ts of Christmas crime prevention, reminding homeowners that it’s that time of year when Santa Claus isn’t the only one breaking into homes.

Sgt. Catherine Dennis warns of holiday crime

Sgt. Catherine Dennis warns of holiday crime

Among the recommendations :

**It’s OK to display your lighted tree in the window with the drapes open, but don’t let people driving by see presents in the window .

**If you’re not home, don’t have packages delivered there, sitting on the front porch to tempt passersby.

**Always keep your garage door closed, and if your garage attaches to the house, always lock the inside door.

**When shopping, there is safety in numbers. Watch your back, don’t count cash in public, and don’t carry chin-high arm loads of packages to your car.

**Always hide valuables out of sight in the trunk.

If you’re looking for more home security to help you sleep at night, you may do what Sgt. Dennis did — get a dog. Dennis says twice burglars have tried to get into her home, but she has an Akita with sensitive hearing who has awakened and barked “like a wolf” to scare them away.

Copyright KMOX

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