Police: Defend yourself against BCS burglaries

Police: Defend yourself against BCS burglaries

EUGENE, Ore. - Sad but true: Thieves in Eugene prey on Ducks.

From Dec. 9, 2010, through this week, police responded to 41 burglaries in the Kinsrow Avenue and West University neighborhoods where many University of Oregon students live.

As Ducks flock to Arizona for the BCS Championship game, police urge travelers not to give away travel plans in their enthusiasm.

Among their tips:

Don't advertise your vacations plans.  It's risky to change your answering-machine message or public social media status' to say you're on vacation or allow your home to look unoccupied while you're away.

Try to make your home look occupied.  Set up timers to turn on lamps in different rooms at different times.  Turning your telephone ringer on low or off will also avoid having your absence advertised by long, loud ringing.

Enlist a vacation helper.  Your most effective step is to arrange for a trusted relative, friend or neighbor to check your home while you're away.  This person can help by bring in the newspaper and picking up the mail so it does not pile up in your absence.

Don't leave valuables visible through the windows.  Some things may just be too tempting and entice a criminal to see what else may be inside.

Never leave a garage door opener in your car.  Doing so can lead to double victimization - thieves who find electronic garage openers in cars often us the devices to gain easy entry to victims' homes and steal more property.  Remember it is a key to your home.

Keep your home secured.  Whether leaving for an hour or the weekend make sure all the doors and window in your home are securely locked.  The most commonly unsecured windows are in the bathroom and kitchen - remember to relock them after use.  Never leave an extra key beneath the mat, over the door frame, or under a convenient rock.  Any place you can think of, thieves can think of too!

Personal Safety FIRST!  If you return home to find your residence has been broken into, don't go in - the criminals may still be inside.  Use a cell phone or go to a neighbor's house to report the crime to police.