Due to the nature of the holiday, the police see a marked increase in vandalism and burglary on October 31. Chief Adams, a 27-year veteran of law enforcement, advises parents, "Impress on older children that trick-or-treating is for fun—no tricks. These could be considered criminal and that takes the fun out of Halloween. Decorations are the property of the home owners, so leave them where they belong." It's usually a good idea to bring your jack-o-lanterns and expensive decorations inside after the younger children have stopped coming by. You can always set them out again in the morning for the neighborhood to enjoy.
Sheriff Specialist Hill says, "Halloween in particular generates an increase in burglaries. There are so many people out and about, it is easier for burglars to blend in and gain access to homes. We recommend that people pay close attention to home security on Halloween."
She offers this checklist to keep your property safe:
- Lock all doors and windows (even if you are home).
- Close your bedroom curtains and make sure the window is secure (the master bedroom window and side garage door are the most vulnerable points of entry).
- Leave lights on so you don't create concealment areas: front porch, side-yard, or backyard lights.
- If you leave your home and you have an alarm, make sure you set it.
- Secure your vehicle and remove ALL items from view. If possible park in your garage.