Lynchburg, VA - Police say it's every burglar's dream- a family out of the house for the holidays on vacation or shopping.
This is prime time for burglaries, so here are some tips on how to keep your family and your home safe.
"People were just so used to for so long not to have any issues; a quiet city neighborhood with no problems," said Neighborhood Watch Organizer Bert Loflin.
It was 2010 when a slew of burglaries shattered the security in Loflin's upscale Lynchburg neighborhood.
"To have this start happening, it was kind of a wake up call for the whole group of us," he said.
The straw that broke the camel's back: Loflin's neighbor had thousands of dollars' worth of property stolen from his home.
"We decided that when he got back, we'd get together and organize a neighborhood watch," said Loflin.
A coalition of concerned men and women around Loflin's neighborhood now are on constant lookout.
Not to mention Loflin has installed a state of the art security system and new locks on windows and doors.
"Make your house inaccessible, very easily to people who would want to come in and do harm, or take property," he said.
Experts say that's the easiest way to protect your home.
Do it with simple accessories like light timers. Leave your TV or radio on, and an alarm system can be foolproof.
But most important:
"Make sure your neighbors, someone that's very trusted, a family member knows that you're away, knows your plans and knows how to get ahold of you," said Steven Wood with LPD Crime Prevention.
"Be a part of a community and communicate with your neighbors, and let them know," said Loflin.
In fact, ever since Loflin began the neighborhood watch group, they've seen crime plummet.
Just over Thanksgiving, there was an attempted burglary in Loflin's neighborhood that was thwarted because of a successful alarm system.