Residential burglaries almost invariably spike during the end of the year holiday season. Why is this? Burglars know there is a better chance than normal that homeowners will be out of town visiting family or, at least, out of the house (e.g., at a Christmas party) and, unlike what you see in movies/TV, burglars much prefer to steal from you when you are not home. Also, a burglar wants to make your holiday gifts HIS holiday gifts. Beyond the 10 excellent suggestions in the attached article, here's a bonus Number 11 that we always include when advising our clients. Buy a doggy dish. Even if you don't have a dog. Put it where it will be easily seen such as right next to the door on the back porch. Make it a big dish (for your imaginary BIG dog). Burglars hate dogs both for the noise they make and the bite marks they leave.