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Locking up for the holidays? Police say 'think of your home as a burglar' would.

Police are warning residents to tighten up their home security before the holidays.

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Before you leave your home for holiday travel, police are advising the best way to avoid a vacation break-in is to look at your home's vulnerabilities as a burglar would. 

North Carolina is ranked number six among states with the most burglaries per capita, according to a new report from ASecureLife.co,. South Carolina comes in at number nine.

Tim Aycock, public information officer with Matthews Police Department, said officers will be out and about throughout the holiday season working to prevent would-be burglars from breaking into homes.

Aycock said people need to make sure there homes are secure before leaving town for the holidays.

"Just kind of want to think of it as the burglar,” Aycock said. “You want to walk up to your house. See if you can see items through the window. You don't want to have, you know, expensive gifts within plain view of the window."

Police encourage residents to make sure the security system is working properly, have surveillance cameras operating, and inform neighbors of travel plans.

"Find the neighbors that you talk to a lot, and you know, see who's going to be in town around those times,” Aycock said. “And you know, coordinate with them to keep a lookout for each other."

Matthews Police Department also offers home security checks. If residents sign up by filling out this form online, officers will check by the home once every 12 hours while occupants are away.

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