Protecting Your Home When You Are Gone

Protecting Your Home When You Are Gone
By: CJ Cassidy

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Many people are probably counting down the days to Christmas vacation.
Still police want you to remember to protect your home while you are away so you don't come back to a nasty surprise.
A Cape Girardeau couple says that's what they came back to.  Someone pried open their back door with a crow bar.
They are now thinking about putting in an alarm system to protect themselves from burglars and folks who are already going through that process say that's a good idea.
"Last Saturday morning, when I woke up, somebody had tried to open the front door.  They couldn't get in thank goodness. I would have fainted!" said Mardee Wittwer of Cape Girardeau.
So she decided to protect herself and her home.  She's getting an alarm system installed.
Brent Eastman with H & R Alarms, Incorporated took on the job at the Wittwer home.
He says sadly most people wait until they've become victims before taking any kind of action.
"Christmas is a bad time for crime with presents bunched up under trees," Eastman said. "I think people are a little more desperate sometimes especially with the economy."
He explains alarm systems range from about $400 on up to $1000.  It just depends on what you can afford.
"You don't have a chance of walking in on somebody on a break-in.  If you are man of the house, and gone a lot, your family's protected while you are gone."
If you can't afford an alarm system, police say there are plenty of ways to stay safe - cheap.
"They make lights with timers if they have someone will turn them off intermittently that the gives assumption someone's home.  Some people leave TVs on and radios for sound, and they can also let neighbors know to keep a watchful eye."
You can also let police know you won't be home so they can drive by from time to time.
As for Mardee Wittwer, she calls her new alarm system an investment, and a gift to herself that will hopefully give her: "Security and peace of mind.  That's all I'm interested in now."

If you decide you can't afford an alarm system, remember to hide your Christmas presents in a closet.  Just don't leave them under your tree where a burglar could look in and see them.