Officials at WIU warn students of burglaries during winter break

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Before you welcome your college student home for the holidays, do you make sure they’re locking up their valuables?

Police said this is the time when burglaries pick up near college campuses, but there are things you can do to stop it.

They also said the thieves are usually looking for anything from electronics to jewelry–so if you don’t lock them up, they may not be there when students come back from break.

“I think it’s a real shame that people take advantage of college kids these days and their valuables,” Western Illinois University Senior Jason Blazevic said. “They think it’s okay to go in their houses when they’re gone for break.”

Public safety officials at WIU are warning students that several burglaries and break-ins do happen during winter break.

Blazevic agrees– as he once came back from winter break to a house with missing items.

“Sophomore year, I lived in a house with 13 guys and we went home for Christmas break and one of our alumni’s came to visit the house one day and found out that our house had been broken into,” Blazevic said.

Blazevic said he thinks they entered through an unlocked window.

“One of my friend’s X-Box got stolen, a lot of their clothing got stolen, I think one of my friend’s TV’s got stolen,” Blazevic said.

Officials with the Office of Public safety here at WIU said the biggest issue they see is many students leaving things like TV’s out in plain sight.

“Generally somebody will have their 55-inch TV sitting out in the living room with their Playstation or X-Box, so you’re looking at several thousands of dollars with games all just sitting there, so somebody will see that and unfortunately, there’s criminals in this world and they’re going to take advantage of that opportunity,” Lt. Derek Watts with the Office of Public Safety said.

Watts also said to lock all doors and windows and to take all valuables home with you.

Something Blazevic said he will be sure to do.

“We go around our house and make sure all windows are locked, we dead bolt all of our doors and we put it on the last person in the house to make sure the windows are locked,” Blazevic said.

Watts said you can also go to the Macomb Police Station and they will engrave your electronics– so they can be identified if stolen.

Here are more tips from the office of public safety:

They said to try and have someone shovel your sidewalk or driveway if it snows, so it looks like you’re home.

The same goes for mail– not letting it pile up.

They said if you stay home for break and see anyone suspicious around the neighborhood, call the police.




Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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