Traveling for the holidays? You may want to let the Carmel Police Department know 

Lt. Joe Bickel of the Carmel Police Dept. (Photo by Adam Aasen)

Lt. Joe Bickel of the Carmel Police Dept. (Photo by Adam Aasen)

In the Holiday movie, “Home Alone,” bumbling burglars prey on wealthy homeowners who travel for Christmas. And while many Carmel residents go away for winter break, it’s not necessary to set elaborate booby traps like in “Home Alone.”

Lt. Joe Bickel, of the Carmel Police Department, said that protecting your home is as easy as remembering to lock your doors.

Bickel said burglars aren’t going to target homes with alarm systems or vigilant neighbors. They go for the easy targets.

“The last thing a criminal wants to do is attract attention,” he said. “They don’t want to smash a window or disable an alarm system. It’s more likely they’ll search for homeowners that forgot to lock a door.”

Bickel said officers try to be proactive by patrolling neighborhoods and checking out homes of out-of-town residents. Anyone can call 571-2500 to let Carmel police know when they will be out of town.

But home burglaries aren’t the only concern. Statistically, all crime sees a slight uptick during the holidays, Bickel said. The holidays are a stressful time and that can amplify problems you are already experiencing.

“It certainly is, ‘Tis the season,’” he said. “Tis the season for enjoying time with your family but also tis the season for criminals to look for their next opportunities.”

Car break-ins are a constant concern, Bickel said, and mall parking lots are a particular target because people leave gifts inside their vehicles. He also advises people against leaving your car unlocked if you are warming it up due to the cold weather. If you have another set of keys, he said it’s a good idea to lock your car while it’s heating up.


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