KSU PD offers tips for students leaving items over break

Cassandra Beck

Once winter break rolls around, the streets and bars of Kent thin out as the majority of students head back to their hometowns for the holidays. With students leaving their houses and apartments unattended and unoccupied for weeks at a time over break, empty dwelling places become easy targets for burglaries.

Here are a few tips for students to keep their belongings safe as they finish finals and pack their bags to head home.

  • Don’t leave valuables packed in your car the days before you head home and lock your car between trips of carrying stuff back and forth from your residence hall or apartment to your car.
  • It’s a good idea to unplug outlets with a lot of plugs in your house or apartment if you’re going to be gone for a long period of time. Turning appliances off isn’t enough. Unplugging outlets not only reduces energy use but reduces the chances of electrical fire as well. If you live in the residence halls it is mandatory to unplug everything except for your refrigerator.
  • Take home things like laptops, iPods, iPod docks and video games.
  • You might think about putting large TVs or DVD players into locked bedrooms and record the serial numbers, brand name and dates of purchase — the police will ask for this information in the event of a theft.
  • Don’t turn off your heat. With cold weather, pipes could freeze and cause them to crack and break. Heat should be no lower than 60 degrees.
  • Make sure to lock all windows and designate the last person leaving to double check them.
  • Consider leaving a hallway light on, using an automatic lamp timer or leaving a small radio alarm clock playing. Leaving bedroom lights or TVs on might be too expensive, but creating the illusion that someone is home might scare off attempting burglars.
  • If you’re leaving your car behind, park it in a well-lit, visible area.
  • If you live in the residence halls you will only be allowed to re-enter in cases of extreme emergency. If not, you’ll have to wait until campus reopens for spring semester on Jan. 8. Make sure to take home anything you will need like phone and computer chargers and medicine.
  • Don’t leave money or checks lying out and visible.
  • It’s important for students to properly check out of their residence halls before winter break so residence services knows who is staying and if any repairs need to be done while the residence hall is unoccupied.
  • It’s a good idea to get to know your neighbors so in case someone sees anything suspicious going on they can report it to the police.
  • If you return to your residence and find something missing or think someone was in your house or apartment, call the police immediately.

Sources: Michquel Penn, Kent State Police Department community resources officer and Brian Hellwig, department of resident services coordinator of residential safety and security.

Contact Cassandra Beck at [email protected].