Bloomington Police: college students should take steps to avoid break-ins over winter break

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Dec. 16, 2015) -- College students leaving town for winter break are being encouraged to take extra safety precautions to avoid a break-in over the holidays.

Bloomington Police put out an alert, with tips for students, on Facebook this week, as Indiana University students finish up finals and head out of town.

"They’re really thinking about getting (those) exams done and getting home," Captain Joe Qualters said.

Instead, Qualters is hoping students will also think about preventing break-ins while they are away.

Some tips from Bloomington Police include the following:

  • Take valuables, like small electronics and jewelry, home with you
  • Move bigger electronics, including TV's, so they are not visible through windows
  • Set your lights on timers
  • Stop your mail so it doesn't pile up and create an obvious target
  • Make a plan with roommates about who will be the last to leave and lock up

"(Precautions are) probably very, very low on their priority list but it also makes it incredibly difficult for them when they return and they find that items have been stolen (or) there’s damage to their residence," Qualters said.

Bloomington Police will team up with IU Police for the second year to do targeted patrols of heavily student-populated areas, including apartment complexes. Last year, BPD reported a 48% drop in thefts over the winter break, due in part to increased patrols and the push for extra security measures by students.

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