How to protect your home, property from thieves during the holidays

Whether you’re out shopping or even at home, thieves are on the lookout for an opportunity to take your valuables.

So don’t let yourself become a victim.

It’s not the type of thing you want to think about during the holidays, but experts say a little precaution can go a long way.

Pearl City resident Kaimana Sasaki had her big screen television stolen from her garage last week.

Earlier this week, thieves broke into her truck and stole her purse inside with cash, credit cards, and other personal items.

“I’m not too sure how they broke in, but pretty much as you can see, the window is shattered,” Sasaki said. “We didn’t hear anything. My dogs actually woke us up, started barking. We didn’t hear any glass shattering. Our alarm didn’t go off, so they must have used something to crack the window, and when we found the window, there was actually a hole inside.”

She’s not sure if it’s just bad luck or her house was being watched, but she says the family has since installed security cameras around the house.

“It kind of hit home, because I have kids, and it’s kind of scary knowing that somebody’s around here watching me, or just coming by and looking through the neighborhood and stuff,” Sasaki said.

Michael Kitchens created and runs the Facebook page Stolen Stuff Hawaii, now with more than a hundred thousand members who report crime in their area.

He says reports of thefts go up three times as much starting in November.

“You just see a slow, steady (stream), where sometimes a post will sit at the top of the page, now it doesn’t around this time of the year,” Kitchens said. “It’s just constantly having posts leapfrog each other.”

Kitchens says in most cases, they are crimes of opportunity. Thieves see an easy way of getting to your valuables and they’re able to run off with it in a matter of seconds.

“Everything from just breaking into people’s mailboxes, car break-ins, burglary, robbery. It’s just people are so desperate this time of the year, I guess it’s whatever they can get,” Kitchens said.

Kitchens says you should never leave your purse or wallet in your car, even if it’s hidden and the car is locked. When shopping, don’t put your packages in the car until you’re ready to leave the parking lot. Thieves could be watching and break into the car when you walk away.

Don’t store keys for your house or car in a lock box, because thieves can get to them easily. Avoid leaving gifts under the tree until you’re ready to give them out.

HPD also recommends that you don’t post on social media when you’ll be away from home. Keep wrapped gifts away from windows, and break down boxes for large expensive items like TVs and computers before putting out the trash.

As always, you can report suspicious activity by calling 911.


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