As students flee campus in search of warmer weather and more sleep over spring break, Madison police are reminding students to lock their doors and shut their windows to prevent possible robberies.

Police are suggesting 12 ways for students to protect apartments and belongings from burglars over spring break. Madison police spokesperson Joel DeSpain said there is notable increase in robberies in the near-campus area when students are away.

He said these burglaries usually happen quickly and robbers usually enter apartments or homes through an unlocked door or window.

Students heading out of town for the week should ensure all doors and windows are securely locked. If you have a sliding door make sure it is locked or blocked with a piece of wood to prevent it from opening.

The main items stolen from off-campus homes are laptops, video games or video consoles. These items are desirable to steal because robbers are easily able to resell them in a second-hand market, DeSpain said.

“We particularly urge people if they can to take all electronics, like their laptops, with them home if they are going home,” DeSpain said.

Anyone leaving these items in their apartments while away should at least conceal them from being openly visible.

Despain said students should be sure to record these items’ serial numbers as well, so if a robbery were to occur, it would be easier to identify the stolen item and track it down. 

“Every year some people have residencies broken into,” DeSpain said. “This is something we have been working very actively with landlords, building owners and residents to ward off.”

Madison police hope to see a decrease in burglaries over this spring break, DeSpain said. Anyone staying over the break should call the police department right away if they see suspicious activity near their apartment.