To get ready for Halloween this year, perhaps put more emphasis on protecting yourself than getting the best mix of candy for trick or treaters. Property crimes increase by around 24 percent on Halloween, according to one study. Of this, 19% is vandalism and malicious mischief, 21% is off-premises theft, and 60% is theft from the home. What can you do to protect yourself from vandalism? Plenty, according to the insurance industry.
Protect Your Property Against Vandals
Before the sun sets, make sure to protect your real and personal property from those older trick or treaters that come out late at night, with very little interest in your Halloween candy. They are more interested in tricks than treats. Start with your car. Try to park it in the garage, but if that’s a ridiculous suggestion, be sure to park it in a well-lit place and roll up the windows, lock the doors, and activate the security system.
Talk a walk around your property and make sure anything you’d miss the next morning is either nailed down or truly to heavy to be carted off. If possible, bring anything you’d hate to be vandalized inside. And when you are ready to turn in for the evening, be sure to blow out the jack o’ lantern candle. Nothing ruins a good night’s sleep like a house fire.
Protect Your Kids From Becoming Vandals
Yes, your kids are more important that your property. But now that you’ve battened the hatches, it’s time to give your kids some instruction before sending them out into the wild, since they could be interested in a little mischief. Here are a few tips to review with your little monsters:
Don’t let them play with candles or matches, especially around other people’s jack o’ lanterns. Yes, it’s tempting. But really not worth it.
Instruct them to travel in groups, as there’s safety in numbers. But don’t act like a band of misfits. Remind them it’s vandalism to TP or throw eggs at other people’s houses.
Carry a flashlight or have some reflective element on dark clothing. There’s always a favorite neighborhood street everyone likes to walk down the middle of, and it just takes one clueless driver to ruin a great evening.
Now that you have everything under control, have a fantastic Halloween! If you encounter any vandals or mischief, contact your local police department and your insurance company. And if you, or children, are the vandals, contact a local criminal defense attorney. Though the incident could have all been done in fun, it is still a crime, and one to take seriously in the light of day.
- Find a Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory)
- Accused of Vandalism: How to Bring a Defense (FindLaw Blotter)
- 5 Silly Halloween Laws to Make You Scream (FindLaw Law and Daily Life)