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Keep your home safe while traveling for the holidays

Posted at 10:19 AM, Dec 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 12:19:23-05

BOZEMAN – A lot of people are traveling this time of year to visit friends and family over the holiday and we have some tips on how to make sure you return to a secure home.

“We have an element of folks who want to take advantage of the holiday season and trying to get into homes they don’t belong in so make sure your doors and windows are locked,” said Bozeman Police Detective Sgt. Joseph Swanson.

He added that you can also set timers for Christmas lights and interior lights when you’re not at home.

“Kind of just give the sense that somebody is home and around if you have pets make sure someone is also looking after them and there’s some type of schedule you have so we don’t have a pet unattended in the house,” Swanson said.

Authorities also say that the best line of defense is the most old-fashioned.

“Talking with your neighbor is usually how we get our majority of leads on cases or calls about suspicious activity. Just giving a simple heads up. You don’t necessarily have to tell your neighbor where you’re going but you can say ‘I’m gonna be out of town can you keep an eye on things’,” Swanson said.

“We are happy to take any call from any citizen — and you don’t have to tell us your name either — if you see something suspicious or see someone in your neighborhood who doesn’t belong there,” Swanson said. “A patrol officer will come through and contact that individual just to try to verify they are supposed to be there or they are not supposed to be.”

Swanson also says if you have a home security system make sure it’s working properly. He added that you should also remember to arrange for someone to clear your sidewalk of snow while you are away.

By Patrice Parks – MTN News