Police See Rise in Burglaries During the Holidays

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- We checked in with the Harrisonburg Police Department to see how often burglaries occur locally, especially during this time of year.

The busiest time for burglaries is when college students are out of the area.

Local law enforcement said when people leave town for Thanksgiving or winter break, that's when they see an increase in burglaries.

In Harrisonburg, from the week of Thanksgiving 2012 until Jan. 2, 2013, there were 23 residential burglaries and 6 commercial ones.

During that same time period starting the week of Thanksgiving 2013, there were 17 residential burglaries and 8 commercial ones.

However, police said the recent numbers will probably increase once students come back and assess their property and make reports.

Sgt. Jason Kidd with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Harrisonburg Police Department said a majority of the time burglaries come from open windows or doors.

Kidd said if you plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to take valuables with you such as your laptops or other expensive technology.

By doing that, you can eliminate crimes of opportunity.

"The biggest factor is just how easy is it for somebody to commit a crime. So, in my opinion, when there is an opportunity when there is an open window or door or somebody sees something easily stolen inside a residence then it is just more likely those things are going to happen," said Kidd.

In 2012, Harrisonburg Police changed the geographical breakdown of the city. Instead of four areas, they increased it to seven.

Kidd said every year they increase police presence in areas they expect more crimes to take place.

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