Protect your stuff

Learn five ways to protect your belongings from being stolen

| November 4, 2014

College students are easy targets for burglars as they tend to be more careless with their belongings. The rise of higher-end apartment complexes in the university area is leading to more burglaries as robbers assume these tenants have more valuable items.

According to areavibes.com, there are an estimated 5,789 acts of property crime in the university area each year. This crime rate is about 43 percent higher than the Charlotte average of property crime.

Recently, UNC Charlotte senior Chris Carpenter had his bike stolen off of his apartment porch in Colville Gardens, an apartment community across from campus off of Suther Road.

He kept his bike locked on the porch with what he assumed was a reliable bike lock. However, he went out one day to ride his bike to class and found that while his wife’s was still there, his was not and the remaining bike was unlocked.

“The lock was undamaged, but my bike was gone,” said Carpenter. “It was a really nice bike, too.”

Carpenter now has to file a police report and a claim with his renter’s insurance company.

Carpenter learned the hard way that things are not safe even at his own house.

“I didn’t think I would have to worry about it because it was on my own porch,” said Carpenter. “People don’t respect others’ privacy anymore.”

In order to avoid this happening to you, here are five ways you can keep your property safe.

Burglaries are on the rise in apartment complexes, make sure you are keeping your stuff safe.  FILE PHOTO

Burglaries are on the rise in apartment complexes, make sure you are keeping your stuff safe. FILE PHOTO

1. Beware of hide-a-keys

Try leaving a key with a nearby friend or neighbor in case you lock yourself out.

Most of us are attached to our cell phones so we will be able to easily call that person to get back into our apartments.

If you must use a hide-a-key, avoid the usual places like under a rock or a flowerpot. This only makes it easier for burglars.

Also, once you use the key once, move it to a different location so if someone saw you using it, they won’t be able to find it again.

2. Have someone stop by your apartment if you’re going out of town

If you know all of your roommates will be gone over the holidays, try to have a friend who is staying in the area stop by your apartment periodically.

This way, if someone is watching and attempts to break in, they will see that the apartment has not been left empty for weeks on end.

3. Don’t leave too many things outside

While we all want to take advantage of balcony space, it is important to not leave too many expensive or nice-looking things exposed. That only attracts burglars.

If you are in the habit of leaving your blinds open, make sure there are not high-end items visible from the outside.

4. Always lock up your stuff

Lock car doors, apartment doors and use appropriate bike locks. Additionally, make sure your windows are locked so burglars don’t come in that way.

5. Get to know your neighbors

College communities have a lot of people coming in and out, but try to get to know the people who live around you. This will make strangers stick out more so crimes can be prevented.

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Category:Lifestyle

Michelle Liringis is the Lifestyle Editor for the 2013-2014 year. She is an English major with a journalism minor and has been working with the Niner Times since her freshman year.

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Michelle Liringis is the Lifestyle Editor for the 2013-2014 year. She is an English major with a journalism minor and has been working with the Niner Times since her freshman year.