December 16, 2014
Killeen police are urging residents to be vigilant this holiday season and protect themselves from becoming the victims of burglary and theft.
At a community forum last week, department commander Lee Caufield told residents that patrol officers would be focused on retail areas in the city to help combat vehicle break-ins and burglaries.
"We want to make it a safe Christmas," Caufield said.
Statistics from the RAIDS online crime-reporting website showed that 116 reports of residential burglary, commercial burglary and vehicle burglary were reported in Killeen between Thanksgiving 2013 and New Year's Day.
This year, the website showed 26 of the same crimes from Thanksgiving through Monday.
Caufield and other police officials said that such crimes are crimes of opportunity, especially during the holidays when residents are apt to have gifts in their homes, or in their cars while they are out shopping.
During the forum, Caufield offered residents a number of ways to avoid becoming victims. He said don't leave hidden keys outside homes, mow your grass and don't let newspapers pile up outside homes; these are signals that homeowners are away.
To protect yourself from vehicle break-ins, Caufield said don't leave valuables such as gifts, purses, phones or GPS devices in open view in cars, and "lock your doors."
A handout given to attendees at last week's forum recommended installing alarm systems in homes and vehicles
Richard Kwon, owner of CS Audio, which sells and installs car alarms and stereos, said that an aftermarket alarm is a good investment, even if a vehicle is already equipped with a security system.
"They don't have a shock sensor," said Kwon, referring to a mechanism that can sense impacts to a vehicle.
Kwon said he usually doesn't see a spike in customers for alarm systems during the holiday season.
"It's pretty steady," he said.
The Killeen Police Department, in partnership with LeadsOnline, allows residents to register and maintain records of their personal property online for free at reportit.leadsonline.com. Residents also can ask the department for information about security inspections at 254-501-8805.