BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The holiday season is here, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, many people planned trips to see loved ones and leave their homes unattended.

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go is a common occurrence for many during the holiday season, but as people leave their homes, break-ins and robberies become just as common.

“Crime definitely increases in the holidays not just with breaking and entering but you know people will knock on your door asking for donations pulling on your heartstrings, there are a lot of scams that they will do that way,” said Detective Clark McCormick with the Beckley Police Department.

McCormick added thieves often search for signs of an empty home, from mail piled up in the mailbox, to a lack of lights on in the house.

“A typical thief isn’t going to come in if they think someone is home so any opportunity that they have to break into your home they are going to take it so if they think that someone is home at all times they are going to pass you by and go somewhere else,” said McCormick.

When keeping your property safe, McCormick explained you can never be too careful. Something as simple as leaving the TV or lights on to make it seem like someone is home could cause a thief to take a crucial second thought. More direct forms of detection such as dusk-to-dawn lights or a security system utilizing cameras can make all the difference.

He warned the need goes further than just a ring light.

“It’s not always the front door, sometimes the thief will go to the front door to knock to see if someone’s home, and that is where a ring camera can come in very handy and if you can put cameras in every entrance to your home, or a window low enough that someone could possibly get into,” said McCormick.

There is strength in numbers, letting your neighbors know when you will be away, and making sure someone can check on your home if you are going to be away for a long amount of time can help create peace of mind.

McCormick said local law enforcement is ready to do the same.

“But if there is a particular area or if somebody would like an extra patrol in their area all they have to do is call and we will make sure officers patrol the area a little heavier,” said McCormick.