To burglars, this is prime hunting season
The Uniform Crime Reporting index for St. Petersburg has shown a decrease in some crimes for the first 10 months of the year.
Property crimes and auto thefts are down by as much as 35 percent.
That's the good news. But police have noticed an increase in residential and commercial burglaries during the past few months.
According to Sgt. Tim Montanari of the burglary squad, nearly all residential burglaries occur when no one is home.
So here are a few simple tips to help you avoid a break-in during the holiday season, when many of us are away from home.
• Be extra cautious about locking your doors and windows.
• Use automatic timers for indoor and outdoor lights and a radio or television to make your home look and sound occupied.
• Arrange for someone to pick up your mail and newspapers.
• Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your home when you are away.
• Stay alert to your surroundings, especially while traveling or shopping.
• Always report any suspicious person immediately by calling the St. Petersburg Police Department at (727) 893-7780.
This nonemergency line is answered 24 hours day.
William Proffitt, St. Petersburg Police spokesman