OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) – It's hard to believe, but the holiday season is here! Decorations are going up and stores are slashing prices.
Despite all the holiday cheer, police say this is the prime time for criminals to target your home.
Oak Island Police are stepping up its patrols, hoping to protect you from being robbed.
The police chief in Oak Island tells us that they see a significant up-tick in home break-ins during the winter months.
Police say the reason for that is because Oak Island is primarily a vacation destination for tourists. When winter rolls around, the population goes down and the number of empty houses goes up.
Police say some criminals need the money for holidays so they are more inclined to steal this time of year.
With that in mind, Lieutenant Chris Franks with the Oak Island Police Dept. tells his officers to be more aware of the neighborhoods with vacant homes and communicate effectively with property management groups.
"Everyone needs to be more aware, said Franks. "This time of year, it's not just Oak Island that has these issues, it's all over. But taking the time to pay attention to what's going on in your neighborhood and watch out for your neighbor, that's the big thing this time of year."
Franks says that people should remember a few easy tips to protect themselves. It seems obvious, but remember to lock your doors before leaving the house. Also, make sure to keep all holiday gifts out of sight from potential crooks.