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Taking Action: Don’t let thieves ruin your holiday while you’re out of town – start with social media

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. -- While we give thanks this week for what we have there are some people who will be trying to take what you're thankful for. If you're headed out-of-town this holiday there are things you can do to prevent becoming a victim.

Where you're going and what you're doing make it to the expansive world that is social media. Unfortunately, that can make you a victim of a crime. "The first thing you shouldn't do is post and let the whole world know you're going to be gone," Jackson County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen says.

Harnen says posts about going out-of-town for the holidays is a first on the 'don't' list.  Between likes and shares, your post could get into the hands of someone other than who's on your friends list. "There are predators out there looking for these kinds of things," explains Harnen, "They look for these kinds of things just so they can break into your house and steal your stuff."

Harnen says when you leave to visit family and friends this week, make your home look like you didn't. "If you've got a vehicle that you could move around in a different place, maybe put it in front of your house so people can see it," Harnen says, "If you've got timer lights, leave those on, things like that. Things that would make it appear that you're home."

Also, have a trusted neighbor pick up your mail and packages.  "You don't want to leave your mail in your mailbox for a week because it stacks up and again, burglars see those things and then they see you as a target," Harnen explains.

A few tips could go a long way to stop thieves from ruining your holiday.