DECEMBER 30, 2015

December and January are ranked the highest months for theft claims: Arizona ranked 7th in the nation


TEMPE - In January 2014, there were 9,817 theft claims filed in The United States. December wasn't far behind with 9,533 claims. The holiday season is when more theft claims come in compared to the rest of the year. The average cost of a crime-related claim is $2,789. The national theft claims per month are dropping. In 2011, there were 12,440 claims filed. However, 2014 only saw 8,380 claims. During the month of December 2014, there were 327 claims filed, compared to the 283 average number per month. That puts Arizona at No. 7 in the rank of the top 10 states with the most theft claims. As you prepare for the long holiday weekend, here are some good tips to remember.

• If possible, have your telephone calls forwarded when you are away from home. Burglars sometimes check to see if someone is home by making a telephone call.

• Have a trusted neighbor pick up the mail and newspaper. If possible, do not have either stopped. That gives information about you being away from home to others whom you do not know.

• If away for an extended period, have a plan in place to have the grass mowed or snow shoveled.

• If you are away from home on garbage pickup day, ask a trusted neighbor to put your garbage cans out to the street and take them back in. You may wish to have your neighbor use your garbage cans while you are out. Burglars sometimes check for empty cans as a sign the family is away.

“The key is to make sure your house still looks the same whether you're on vacation or not. Simply setting your lights on a timer and always parking your car in the garage are simple ways to reduce the chance of a break-in.” State Farm Spokesman Victor Hugo Rodriguez says. “The holiday season is a time of giving, but unfortunately it can be a time of “taking” as well.”

The next several weeks are when people are at the highest risk of becoming a victim of theft. Visit