You probably didn’t know just backing out of your driveway could make you a target for thieves — but it can.
With all the snow on the ground, police are urging you to be careful before you head out, because there could be a clear and simple sign for burglars to know you’re not home.
A single set of tire tracks in the snow.
“You know, it’s not something people would normally think about but it’s fairly obvious,” Lenexa (Kan.) Master Police Officer Danny Chavez said. “When there’s only a single set of tracks when you have overnight snow, like we did today, that the resident or residents have left probably for the day.”
Lenexa police tweeted a photo urging residents to make sure they’re not leaving a single set of tracks before they leave the house.
Beware the single trax leaving ur driveway. May tell burglars uv left 4 the day. If u can't shovel, drive back/forth to create more trax pic.twitter.com/tRHgAk2QYM
— Lenexa Police (@LenexaPolice) January 5, 2017
“That's a pretty good indicator for potential burglaries,” Chavez said. “So any little thing that we can do to help minimize the risk of being a victim, we want to pass that on.”
“I didn't really think about that,” homeowner Lou Engler said. “I just saw my neighbors leave and they left double tracks and I see your point.”
Chavez said to create an artificial appearance that you’re home, shoveling your driveway can help. It’s a task Engler has been doing for years.
“When I worked, I got up early in the morning, and shoveled my snow, so I've always done it. It just comes natural,” Engler said. “Plus I spent 35 years in the claim business. I know a little bit about burglaries and things like that.”
Police are hoping people will take a proactive approach to keep their homes safe.
If you’re unable to shovel your driveway, it’s recommended to leave multiple tracks in your driveway.
“You might think it sounds silly, but actually driving back and forth in your driveway, creating multiple sets of tracks, so that it has the appearance of someone passing by your home may not know if you're there or not there,” Chavez said. “It sort of keeps them guessing, if you will, versus the single set of tracks in the morning.”
Also, if you’re heading out for vacation, it’s recommended that you have a neighbor or someone you know well, to pick up newspapers and mail that may go unattended while you’re gone.