THEBES, IL (KFVS) - Are you a target for a break-in? Here are some tips, so you don't become one.
"He saw that the closet door was open, and a drawer in the china cabinet," said Debbie Goins. "He said somebody's been in here."
That's what Debbie Goins's husband saw when he got home from work one evening.
"They didn't really make a big mess, but you could tell that they had rifled through pretty well every drawer in the house," said Goins.
The Goins home was one of the many that a team of thieves broke into, stealing electronics, jewelry, and memories.
"One piece of jewelry that wasn't really worth a lot but Tim's mother, who is passed away, had left it to me, was taken and that hasn't been recovered," said Goins.
Goins says they also took her sense of security.
"I don't have any peace about my home after this happened, I'm finally getting to where I can sleep again at night," said Goins.
"Spent a couple of days trying to make phone calls, and cancel credit cards, and changing my checking account and savings account numbers, and calling the passport people," said Goins.
While the family didn't have an alarm system before, Goins says they've installed one now. But she says she still wonders what else they could do to keep their things safe.
"Other than having a safe in the house I don't know how else to keep that safe," said Goins.
But that's exactly one of the things police say you should do.
Office Jason Selzer with the Cape Girardeau Police Department says there are a few tips on how to keep your home safe.
1. Lighting--both inside and out. Leave a light on inside your home, and try to keep your entrances well lit outside.
2. No hiding places. Keep bushes and shrubs by windows and doors trimmed so thieves can't hide there while entering your home.
3. Know your neighbors. If you know your neighbors, and they know you, they can help spot if something looks suspicious at your home.
4. Install an alarm. Police say the silent ones aren't as effective as ones that make a lot of noise. Selzer says even if it doesn't actually connect to anything to alert someone, a noisy alarm can still scare off an intruder.
5. Get a safe, to be safe. Thieves know where to look in your home for valuables, so a safe can combat that. Make sure it is secure to the wall or floor so they can't walk off with the entire safe.
"Look around your home and think like a burglar...you know if I was trying to get in this home what would I do?" said Selzer.
"It's expensive to buy a safe and have a security system," said Goins.
But police say things like this are important to consider in order to keep your home protected.
"All those things add up to a more secure home. There's nothing that's 100 percent going to protect your home, but you want to do as much as you can to make your home not one of the prime targets," said Selzer.
"It's pretty upsetting to feel like you're not safe, or your home is not safe," said Goins.