With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, West Virginia Universitys Department of Public Safety is reminding students to secure their belongings and travel safely over the break.

WVU police typically see an increase in thefts of unattended items on campus and an increase in thefts from unlocked residence hall rooms at this time of year, said Lt. Randy Friend, crime prevention officer with the WVU Department of Public Safety.

Remember that if you leave any property unattended, even for a few minutes, this is all the time it takes for a thief to steal it,said Friend.If you leave any property unprotected, you may become an easy target for a thief. Dont let a thief ruin your holiday.

He offered the following additional safety tips for students traveling by car over the holidays:

  • Bring sufficient money for gas and plan to take extra emergency money for unexpected problems.
  • Call your parents/family members and let them know when you are leaving and when they should expect you to arrive. If you are delayed for any reason, call and let them know youll be late.
  • If you should have car problems, pull as far off the roadway as possible, activate the emergency flashers, stay in your car, raise the hood, and place a handkerchief or cloth out of the window to alert police that you need assistance.
  • Remember that road conditions can change quickly and without much warning. Wet road surfaces can become very slick, and can cause your vehicle to hydroplane, or slide causing you to loose control. If the roads are wet remember to reduce your speed. * Avoid aggressive drivers and aggressive driving. Dont follow too closely and always try to leave a large safety cushion between your vehicle and the vehicles around you.
  • Get plenty of rest before you travel and avoid distractions while driving. Talking on a cell phone, driving without sufficient rest or other distractions can greatly reduce your reaction time if you need to slow or stop quickly.
  • Respect the speed limits and traffic laws and leave your headlights on even in the daytime. Be sure to wear your seatbelt. Reduce speed on wet roads.

Thanksgiving break for students is the week of Nov. 20; classes resume Nov. 27.

The University is closed Nov. 22-24.