It’s not too soon to think about Halloween crime prevention

Press Staff Writer

        Although Halloween is a few weeks away, many people have already put out their decorations for this popular holiday. These decorations can be expensive, and they are favorite targets for thieves and vandals.
        Every year, we get reports of damage and thefts of Halloween-related objects. Just like such acts involving Christmas decorations, it seems like some people get their jollies out of ruining others’ holidays.
        As in many cases involving thefts and vandalism, one simple deterrent is lighting. Criminals don’t like well-lit areas. Installing spot and floodlights can be an inexpensive way to keep away unscrupulous people who want to do harm to others’ property.
        You may think bright lights detract from the fun and enjoyment of Halloween decorations but think of ways to make bright lights look like part of the decorations, such as lighting up a fake tombstone, for example. Put your creative thinking cap on here.
        Any hardware or other store that carries hardware and electrical items offers lighting fixtures and bulbs that can be used to flood your yard with light. Some of these light fixtures have stakes built in to install them in the ground, if that’s what it takes to suit your needs.
        Don’t rely on any light that may come from the decorations themselves. This is usually not a sufficient amount of light to ward off anyone up to no good.
        One type of decoration that has become popular the past few years are inflatables. Witches, giant pumpkins and ghosts have grown in popularity recently. They are very nice to look at but can also be costly to buy and replace. They have also become popular with vandals who are set on destroying expensive decorations.
        It is a good idea to shut off the motor that keep these inflatables upright during the night. Yes, it means not having full enjoyment from them, but it usually curbs the urge to damage them during the nighttime hours.
        Pumpkins are a favorite of thieves who like to steal them only to smash them. This can also cause more damage if they are smashed against other property, such as a house or vehicle.
        Keep an eye out not just on your own property, but on your neighbors’ homes as well, not only at Halloween time but all year long. If you see or hear a suspicious noise that may be someone stealing or damaging property, report it right away.
        Remember that old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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