With students out of town over the break, potential thieves see an opportunity in their unoccupied homes.
According to Lubbock Police, they typically see 40 to 60 home invasions a month, but those numbers rise over summer and winter break.
“The thieves are opportunistic, they look for those homes that they know are empty,” said Tiffany Pelt, LPD public information officer. “They like to hit during those daytime hours when people are at work or they’re at school.”
Pelt said college students are new to Lubbock and are looking to make friends, and they need to be especially aware of their surroundings.
“If you’re living off campus, make sure that if you have roommates, they’re trusted roommates,” Pelt said. “If you’re having parties at your house, make sure you’re knowing who you’re letting into your home.”
Another thing Pelt said we often forget to consider is our social media. Before you post about your vacation, Pelt said think about who’s eyes could be seeing the post.
“Don’t let people know that your home is empty,” Pelt said. “You’re putting a big target on your home when you’re letting people know that you’re gone all break.”
Casey Fleming, a graduate student at Texas Tech, said someone tried to break her door down, while she was inside.
“I watch a lot of crime shows so my immediate thought was that someone was trying to break in and hurt me whether that was his intention or not, still put the fear in me,” Fleming said.
Fleming said she hears of break-ins often in her neighborhood, and believes college students need to make protecting themselves and their property a priority, especially if they are going out of town.
“I think college students have this invincible attitude that it’ll never happen to me, but it does,” Fleming said.
Pelt said if you are going out of town make sure you lock your doors, pack items of value and leave your lights on to create the illusion that someone is home.
If you are home and realize that someone is trying to break in, LPD said to first call 911, and then make noise and let the intruder know that you are home and have called the police.