GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Local law enforcement is urging people to be cautious before heading out this holiday weekend. An empty house is a target and finding your home broken into after a Thanksgiving trip will likely break your holiday spirit.
"The holidays bring out the bad guys and the bad girls because they know during that time people are really in the spirit of giving and gift giving," said Master Cpl. Dee Jackson with the Guilford County Sheriff's Office.
More than 80 homes were broken into during the holiday season last year in Guilford County.
"Criminals are lazy, so when they do break-in activity it's not something they put a lot of thought into," Jackson said.
Securing all entry ways, keeping lights on, trimming your yard, stopping your mail and a loud alarm could give burglars a reason to avoid your home.
Colfax Community Watch member Julie Jones says it’s neighbors watching out for each other that works best. Her neighborhood hasn't had a break-in in a while.
"I know the people," Jones said. "I want to keep the community around me safe and their well-being is very important to me and my family. We have children in the area. We want to know if we have certain things going on at certain times."
Another way to ensure your homes safety is by requesting an officer do a home check while you are away. The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office says you can request this at any time of the year by calling them at (336) 641-3355. There are also some other agencies in the area that do this, so it’s worth it to check.