Editor's Note: The following is a Hennepin County Sheriff's Office release.
* Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the window so it’s easily visible. A burglar could smash the window and grab the packages.
* If you are away on a trip, ask a neighbor to help create a "lived in" look for your home. Use a light timer when you are away and ask a neighbor to keep the front of your home clean of papers and debris. A neighbor could even park a car on your driveway.
* Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to a trusted neighbor.
* Don't announce that you are out-of-town on social media sites. Post your vacation photos on facebook when you return from your out-of-town visit.
* After the holidays, don’t have an outdoor garbage pile of empty gift boxes from your new computer, big screen TV, and other electronics. Tear up the boxes and dispose of them in a manner where they are not on display.
* Install solid core doors, heavy duty locks, longer screws in the lock strike plates and door hinges, and install secondary security devices.
* Secure needed prescription medicine in a safe place. Painkillers are a target for theft and illegal sales. Any medicine that is not needed should be disposed of properly. Go to www.hennepin.us for disposal sites.