The next time you leave town, here are a few things to think about. Five mistakes that can encourage burglars to break in . . .
1. Leaving lights on when you're not home. It's fine if it's just one night, or they're on a timer. But leaving them on multiple days in a row could make it obvious no one's home.
2. Leaving a key under the mat. If they decide you're not home, that's the first place they'll check. So pretty much any hiding spot is better.
3. Leaving your blinds open, so they can see your stuff from the street. Especially if they can see big-ticket items, like electronics.
4. Buying something expensive, then leaving the empty box outside. When you get a new flat screen TV, don't let the box sit out by your trash all week. And definitely don't leave it there when you're out of town.
5. Having a ladder outside where they can access it. Most burglars won't carry one around with them. But if there's easy access to one, they're more likely to target your home. Especially if you left an upstairs window open.