GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In neighborhoods across the area you'll see lights, wreaths and ornaments decorating homes.
The decorations serve as a reminder that Christmas is just days away. However, with that reminder comes this one too.
"What we need to concentrate on is locking your doors of course, locking all of your windows, [and] making sure that your house looks like it's occupied. With that being said, keeping a light on or keeping a TV on," Lt. Stacy Morton, with Greensboro police.
Morton has been with the Greensboro Police Department for nearly two decades and knows what criminals are thinking this time of year.
"If you are leaving for a weekend or leaving for a couple of days you want to stop your mail. Call the post office to stop your mail. It's quick and easy. You can go online. You'll see four to five days’ worth of newspapers sitting in your driveway. Call a neighbor or call someone to have them come collect that for you. That way your house doesn't appear that's it empty,” he explained.
Morton says it's common for criminals to break into homes during the day.
While your home is never in the clear from someone breaking in he says there's a way to avoid the headache of finding your stuff if it’s taken.
“If you have time just go through your house and just write down serial numbers of everything that you have that's important to you. Take photos of your living room, kitchen, bathroom [and] your dining room. Just take photos of those things,” Morton said.
Officers tell FOX8 that more times than not thieves try to sell your things at a pawn shops, which is why it's always a clever idea to write down serial numbers.
They recommend signing up on the private inventory site ReportIt. It helps you keep a list of your items.