Holiday season sees increase in theft claims - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Holiday season sees increase in theft claims

(KFVS) -

Tis the season for thefts.

According to State Farm, December and January are ranked the highest months for theft claims.

In 2014, there were 9,817 theft claims filed. December wasn't far behind with 9,533 claims.

The average cost of a crime-related claim is $2,789.

Good news, though, State Farm reports the national theft claims per month is dropping. In 2011, there were 12,440 claims filed. However, 2014 only saw 8,380 claims.

In the Heartland, Illinois ranks the highest for the number of theft claims reported during December. In 2014, there were 619 claims filed, compared to the 509 average number per month. That puts Illinois at No. 4 in the rank of the top 10 states with the most theft claims.

According to State Farm, no other Heartland states are in the top 10.

As you prepare for the long holiday weekend, here are some good tips to remember.

  • If possible, have your telephone calls forwarded when you are away from home. Burglars sometimes check to see if someone is home by making a telephone call.
  • Have a trusted neighbor pick up the mail and newspaper. If possible, do not have either stopped. That gives information about you being away from home to others whom you do not know.
  • If away for an extended period, have a plan in place to have the grass mowed or snow shoveled.
  • If you are away from home on garbage pickup day, ask a trusted neighbor to put your garbage cans out to the street and take them back in. You may wish to have your neighbor use your garbage cans while you are out. Burglars sometimes check for empty cans as a sign the family is away.

State Farm says the key is to make sure your house still looks the same whether you're on vacation or not. Simply setting your lights on a timer and always parking your car in the garage are simple ways to reduce the chance of a break-in.

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