University News

Holiday Break Safety Tips

December 4, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- It's that time of year when, according to campus and local law enforcement officials, some individuals choose to do their holiday "shopping" at the expense of others.

With the winter holiday break nearing, the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety (OPS) and the Macomb Police Department (MPD) reminds students and University employees to guard personal property by locking offices, desks and room doors, as well as their vehicles and homes off campus, when leaving, even for a few moments.

The Macomb Police Department and Office of Public Safety would like to remind individuals residing off campus who may be leaving town for the holidays of the following safety tips:

• Take your valuables home. Laptops, music players, video game systems and televisions are the most commonly stolen items over break.

• Avoid leaving items in plain view in vehicles.

• Don't leave items (backpacks, purses, etc.)

• Make sure all doors and windows are locked.

• If leaving town for more than a few days, stop mail and newspaper delivery.

• Engrave your driver's license number on those valuable items that cannot be taken home. Through MPD's Operation ID, individuals can check out an engraver from the department (120 S. McArthur St.) from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, officers advise making a list of valuables, including the make, model, serial number or detailed description. Items with an engraved serial number are harder to sell/pawn, and a detailed description, including photos, may help police track down stolen items.

• Leave lights on in your residence and/or put them on a timer. If a residence looks like it is occupied, then a burglar may bypass it.

• Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to periodically check on the residence.

• If leaving town for more than a few days, stop mail and newspaper delivery, and also ask a trusted friend or neighbor to put out the trash bin on the designated day and move from the curb after pick-up.

The Macomb Police Department and the Office of Public Safety will provide extra patrol near campus during holiday breaks. To report suspicious activity or a burglary on campus, contact OPS at (309) 298-1949; off-campus residents should contact MPD at (309) 833-4505. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations