While the Carson City Sheriff's Office reports a decrease in burglaries, deputies are reminding residents to be alert this upcoming holiday season. 

Deputies offer the following tips: 

Do not allow anyone into your home that you do not know or have verified to be employed by a trusted company you have asked services from.  Do not open the door to strangers and do not be afraid to ask for identification from someone soliciting your business.  All solicitors are required to provide you a copy of their permit in order to go door to door in Carson City.   

Report suspicious people and vehicles in your neighborhood or businesses.  If you can safely obtain license plate numbers from any suspicious vehicles this may help in identifying those who are committing criminal behavior.   Many burglaries to homes occur during the day time while the owners are at work.  A common tactic from burglars is to knock on the front door to see if anyone is at home then have some fake reason for being there if someone answers.

With the colder weather approaching we see the increase in people starting up their vehicles and leaving them to warm up unattended.   Many newer vehicles are equipped with a remote start and kill switch if someone attempts to gain access to drive them off without the key however older vehicles may not be equipped with this option.  Vehicles left unlocked with a key in the ignition pose a strong possibility of it getting stolen.  We have several vehicles that are reported stolen during this time of the year and just like anything else, if you make it easy for them to steal it, they will. 

Detectives and the Special Enforcement Team are currently working several investigations that we have identified different suspects involved in criminal activity in Carson City.  We are working with other agencies within the area, conducting surveillance, and interviewing cooperating sources of information putting together cases on those we believe are looking to continue their criminal behavior.  

Technology is becoming more advanced allowing new ways to solve crimes in Carson City.  Both home owners and businesses are investing in security cameras that are motion activated with real time coverage.  This allows them the ability to see what is taking place on their property by simply receiving alerts to their smart phones.  Video and audio recordings of criminals combined with traditional policing such as using finger prints, DNA, tracking stolen property, the publics assistance in reporting suspicious activity and tracking of known criminals has helped us reduce the crime. 

Some basic tips for home safety during the holidays: 

• Consider new video/audio motion activated camera systems or an alarm system. 

• Make sure all doors and windows are locked to include those on your vehicles; nearly half of all burglaries are done with no force, which means they were able to get in through unlocked doors and windows.  

• Have a trusted neighbor or family pick up newspapers or packages if you are going to be gone for any length of time. 

• Tell a trusted neighbor or family of your travel plans so they can keep an extra eye on the home and so they can call the Sheriff’s Office for any suspicious activity. 

• Make your home look occupied, leave lights/radios/televisions on or think about putting them on timers so they are coming on and going off during different times of the day or night. 

• Close and lock your garage.

• Have the Post Office hold your mail if going away on vacation. 

• Never leave notes on the door saying you are away.

• Keep valuables and packages out of sight as much as possible. 

• Do not store gifts, packages, and items in your vehicle or outside allowing thieves to steal them. 

• After the holidays, break down any boxes before putting them out for the trash such as TV’s, cell phones, computers, and electronic games rather than advertising them to criminals of what new items you just purchased and are available to steal in your home.

• Document serial numbers and etch or mark items in such a way in order to later identify them when recovered if theft occurs. Criminals do not want marked items because it is harder to fence and evidence of guilt if they are caught with it. 

• Exterior doors should have “dead bolt” locks. 

• Sliding doors and windows should have auxiliary locks to bolster security. 

When Shopping: 

• Be observant, avoid dark areas, suspicious persons, stay near other people, be prepared to flee potential problems, and keep your finger on the key fob’s “alarm” button when walking to and from your vehicle. 

• When using ATM’s avoid someone loitering around the location or someone who simply just does not look right, trust your instincts.  Protect your PIN when entering it while using credit cards. 

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

• Appear alert in appearance, be aware of your surroundings, hold on to your purchased items and do not leave them unattended. 

• When parking your vehicle lock your doors and roll up your windows, do not leave keys inside the vehicle.

• Do not leave valuables visible inside the vehicle; store them in the trunk when possible or locked in the glove box/compartment. 

• Keep your wallet or purse with you at all times.   

• Do not leave out items with personal information on them.

• Don’t leave children or pets unattended in the car. 

• Do not leave a running vehicle unattended; it will only take a thief seconds to take the vehicle to include if it’s locked by breaking the window. 

• Do not overload yourself with too many items. Take large purchases such as televisions, computers, and jewelry directly home instead of leaving them in a vehicle. 

(The Carson City Sheriff's Office contributed this report.)