Many West Virginia University students will soon be going over the river and through the woods to celebrate the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday breaks with their families. Meanwhile, others less family-oriented may choose to observe the festive occasion in their own fashion by breaking into unoccupied dwellings and ransacking these residences.

With that in mind, the West Virginia University Department of Public Safety is advising WVU students to secure their residences and valuables before they pack their bags and leave for the holiday breaks.

Students living in the Residence Halls should:

  • Keep their rooms locked and make sure they are locked before leaving

  • Take valuables with them or lock them in a closet

  • Turn off, or if possible unplug, unnecessary appliances

  • Dont leave valuables unattended

  • Store any valuables left in vehicles in the trunk or out of sight

For students who live off campus and will be gone for the holidays:

  • Be sure all windows and doors are locked before leaving

  • Leave an outside light burning to give the appearance that someone may be home

  • Ask friends to check on their apartment while they are away

Students traveling by car should:

  • Call their parents and let them know when they are leaving and when to expect them

  • Call their parents if they are delayed because of a planned or unanticipated stop

  • Have sufficient money for gas and extra emergency money for unexpected problems

  • If they have car problems, they should stay in the vehicle, raise the hood and stick a handkerchief or cloth out of the window as a sign they need assistance. If they dont have a cell phone and someone stops to help, they shouldnt unlock their door, but roll their window down only an inch or two and ask the person to call the police or road service.