Students cautioned to secure belongings over break

By Wendy Arquilla

Before NIU students head out for their spring break vacations, they better make sure the things they leave behind are secure.

Traditionally, the University Police don’t see much of an increase in burglaries during spring break, but they do suggest students take precautions.

UP Detective Robert Canon said students in the residence halls should take any items of great value home with them.

“For students vacationing elsewhere we suggest that students permanently mark or engrave their driver’s license number on any valuable they may leave behind,” he said.

In the event a student is robbed, their driver’s license number will make it easier for police to track and identify stolen merchandise, he said.

Students living in apartments should take some extra precautions. “Things that make an empty apartment identifiable, such as mail piling up or lights off for days, should be taken care of so the apartment does not become an easy target,” Canon said.

He said students should have someone collect their mail and strongly suggested getting timers for lights, stereos and televisions.

“Timers are an inexpensive and dependable theft deterrent for students to invest in,” Canon said.

If students are leaving their cars behind, Canon suggested several ways to keep them safe.

“A student could wedge a stick between the bottom and top sills of their window to lock them up. This can also serve as a deterrent to break-ins,” he said.

Canon also suggested parking in a garage, having someone wipe off cars if it snows or move cars around in a driveway or parking lot.