Burglars struck a campus-area neighborhood during the weekend - a reminder of the importance of taking extra precautions while leaving town for the holidays.
On Monday, police responded to three residential-burglary reports in the 1000 block of Mississippi Street. Two cases involved forced entry through doors, and one involved forced entry through a window.
The burglaries had happened sometime after Dec. 20. Items stolen included video games, video game players, DVDs and jewelry.
On Tuesday, police took two more residential-burglary reports in the 900 block of Mississippi Street.
Lawrence Police spokesman Sgt. Dan Ward said it's typical to see burglaries while people are away for the holidays, and that the numbers of reports increase when Kansas University students come back to town for the new semester.
In December 2002, police arrested a 31-year-old man for a series of apartment burglaries in which he stuck pieces of paper in doors to determine whether the occupants had left town for the holidays. He later received probation.
Ward said that to help prevent burglaries, people should do the following before going out of town:
¢ Stop deliveries of mail and newspapers or ask a friend to pick them up.
¢ Make sure all doors and windows are securely locked.
¢ Leave your contact information with a trusted neighbor or landlord and ask them to keep an eye on the home.
¢ Have a neighbor occasionally use your garbage cans and parking spots.
¢ Put automatic timers on several lights and a radio. Set them so they'll turn on and off at random times in different rooms, especially in the bathroom.
¢ Don't leave lights on 24 hours per day.
¢ Turn your telephone ring setting to "low," and don't leave a message on your answering machine stating you'll be out of town.
¢ Arrange to have snow removed while you're gone.