We live in a small town, we think we are safe from any criminal activity, especially burglars. And, for many of us, the holiday season means, family, food, friends, and presents. But for criminals, the holiday season means something entirely different, the opportunity to cash in on homes full of carefully wrapped presents that include electronics, jewelry and other high priced items.

Many of you think burglars never come back to the same house. Nope, the original thief may return if he wasn’t caught the first time.

So how do you protect yourself? Don’t advertise big buys, an empty computer box or television carton left on the curb is a flag to crooks. Stay locked up, be suspicious of door knockers and telemarketers. Don’t let people know your vacation plans. Install an alarm or motion-detecting outdoor lights. Get a dog, keep your mail out of reach, make sure all windows and doors are locked, know your neighbors.

If you see something, say something by contacting the sheriff’s office at 775-289-8808. If someone breaks into your home, report it, don’t just let it go, this will allow law enforcement to be alert to a burglars pattern of targeting neighborhoods.

The average burglar takes less than a minute to break into your home and overall 8 to 12 minutes to get out again.

The White Pine County Sheriff’s Office reports that since January 2018, they have investigated 36 burglary calls. This includes homes, vehicles, sheds or any type of building a person can walk into. That number is down compared to 58 calls last year.

Sheriff Scott Henriod suggests the number one thing to do is lock all doors on your home and vehicles. If your leaving town, inform a trusted friend or relative and ask them to watch your home and property.

Don’t post on social media when your leaving town, or post pictures of your trip, wait til you get back to share those memories.

“If your gone for an extended period of time, have the postal service hold your mail. Don’t let it pile up in your mail box. Set a timer for your lights in your home so they come on during the evening hours so it appear that the home is occupied,” Henriod said.