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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013

7 Ways To Safeguard Your Home and Car During the Holidays

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Holidays are a prime time for break-ins and car thefts. Don't let the Grinch ruin your Christmas! Follow this advice to protect your home and car. Special thanks to The Salt Lake Tribune  and Reader's Digest  for the information.

Find a nosy neighbor. Work out a reciprocal arrangement where they watch your house when you're away and you do the same for them when they're gone. Tell them to call the police if they see suspicious activity around your home.

Suspend delivery of mail and newspapers. You can also either have a friend or relative collect your mail while you're away, or you can put in a temporary stop at your local post office.

Get automatic timers. These will pop your lights on and off at the appropriate times of day, deterring criminals and saving electricity at the same time.

Have someone create tracks. If it snows while you're out of town, have a neighbor make car and foot tracks leading up to and around your home.

Go straight home after big-ticket purchases. Crooks will monitor people going out of electronics stores and see who has high dollar items that can be fenced. If you go make another stop at a store, they may do a smash-and-grab to get the item you've left in your car.

Always have your keys in hand. Don't fumble for your keys outside of the car. Have them in your hand to protect your person and your possessions.

Don't throw out those giant boxes for flatscreen TVs. If you do, you're telling the crooks, "Hey, I just got a brand new 60-inch flatscreen!"  Some retailers will let you return the box. Or you can cut it up and put it into a bag. Just don't put it out as a billboard on your curb attracting criminal eyes.

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