The first key to burglarizing a house is to make sure no one is home. For potential thieves on CSU's campus, this question is a no-brainer during the holiday break, and campus police annually see break-ins even when school is not in session.
In December 2003 and January 2004, there were five counts of burglary on campus and 21 thefts of bicycles, according to CSU Police Department records.
Sergeant Beery of CSUPD said there are several things students can do to help protect their belongings while enjoying the winter holidays.
"In rooms, make sure your windows are closed and blocked especially if you live on the first floor of residence halls," Beery said.
Beery also recommended that students take any valuables home. If that is not an option, he suggested locking them in a closet or putting them under the bed, where they would be less visible.
While there are thefts from residence halls over break, CSUPD's records show those months are similar to other times of the year.
Sophomore Young Lin, a computer science major, was a victim of theft in Allison Hall last fall when his laptop was stolen from his room.
After watching a Broncos football game on TV, Lin left his room to eat lunch, but made the mistake of not locking his door behind him as he left.
"I think somebody just came in and took (my laptop)," Lin said. "I was sad, mad and angry."
Lin never got his laptop back. He suggested that students who live in the residence halls always lock their door behind them and take their belongings with them over break.
Drew Way, Parmelee Hall director and graduate student in student affairs, also knows of a way to secure belongings.
"(Students) should work to ensure that the three layers of security in the halls are closed behind them," Way said. "If you see someone who you know is not a resident or a guest of a resident lurking around, tell a hall staff member about it."
Other students are concerned about leaving their bikes on campus while they are gone.
"Over break I'm putting my bike in my room," said junior Chris Clarke, a sociology major. "There will be so few people on campus that it will increase the chances of getting it stolen."
Housing and Dining Services said it is OK for students to put their bicycles inside their rooms over break.
However, the safety of students' bikes is not the only thing some have to worry about.
In October, sophomore Christian Berringer, a psychology major, had his motorcycle stolen from the front parking lot of Parmelee Hall.
"Even though I got it back, it is one of those things where I feel very violated," Berringer said. "Sitting on it, and knowing that it was taken away from me, it will never be the same."
Berringer does not want anyone else to have to experience this.
"If you have a motorcycle, make sure it is anchored to something, like a tree, so it can not be lifted from the ground," Berringer said.
Beery also suggests if students are planning on leaving their car on campus during break to park it in the parking lot just south of the police department, located in Green Hall.
Beery said there will be two police officers on duty and dispatch will be on duty throughout break, but has a recommendation for those who are worried about the safety of electronics left in their room.
"Always have a list of the make, model and serial numbers (of your valuables)," Beery said, "so that if they are stolen, they are easier to track."