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Police offer tips to protect your home from burglars this holiday season

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Burglars are watching when you leave your homes this holiday season and police have some tips for Hoosiers to keep their homes safe, while they're away.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police are encouraging homeowners to follow simple steps like turning on the lights and setting a home security system. Those are the easiest ways to keep your home from being targeted by burglars.

IMPD Officer Aaron Hamer also recommends to not leave your Christmas presents on display. That includes, breaking down any large boxes for TV's or electronics.

"If you have lights and Christmas trees that are on that are lit, not to keep them, I know it looks beautiful, but not to keep them lit and have your presents under your tree in your bay window and allow the people to be able to see into your home, because it makes it very easy for you to become a target," Officer Hamer said.

Officers are also asking residents to tell their neighbors if they will be out of town. The "see something, say something" rule is often the greatest form of crime prevention. You should also write down the serial number for any electronics you get this year.

"Nine times out of 10, crimes go unsolved because of the lack of a serial number. A serial number can be the one thing that actually solves the crime," said Officer Hamer.

At Home Depot in Castleton, employee Richard Fletcher said home security electronics are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. Some of the tools are so popular, they can't keep them on the shelves.

Many of the devices Fletcher showed include voice communication controls and easy access to a smartphone, making it easy for you to secure your home, even if you're out of town.

"You have control, but you don’t have to be in the house. You can be 1,000 miles away and still control your house," Fletcher said.

Fletcher also said fake security cameras are also popular. They run at under $20 and have fake lights to scare off potential burglars.

The Marion County Prosecutors Office offers burglary prevention forums. For more, click here.