Property theft can happen to anyone.

Vehicle and residential break-ins happen — but there are steps Claremore Police Department encourages to guard against it as much as possible.

"First, people don't lock their car and that makes it easy for burglars," said Claremore Police Department's Deputy Chief Steve Cox.

He suggested people think of their car as a trophy case and really think about what they have on display.

Don't leave purses, valuables or shopping bags where passersby can see them, he said.

"Keep your homes locked and well lit," he said. "Don't advertise on Facebook that you're going

on vacation. Wait until you get home to share that. People look for that."

He advises Claremore residents that are going out of town to call dispatch first.

"They can call our non-

emergency number and tell dispatch that they'll be out of town, give them a time frame, if they're leaving lights on — which we recommend, and what vehicles should be at the residence," Cox said. "We'll have officers go by throughout the day and check on the house."

People should avoid leaving a spare key on the porch — even if they think it's well hidden.

Anyone who can afford to purchase and install security cameras, he said, should do so.

While some proactive steps go a long way in guarding against property theft, Cox said it doesn't eliminate the risk.

A few easy steps can make a world of difference in helping law enforcement track down and return stolen items.

"On personal property, if you have stuff with serial numbers have a safe place you can keep all those numbers. If we have stolen property we can't enter it into a database that every law enforcement agency can see unless we have a serial number," he said. "Something I try to do is, once a year like around New Years, update your records. Take pictures of your valuables, note any serial numbers and keep that digital file somewhere secure."

Some valuables don't have serial numbers. On those items, like trailers, Cox suggests, "find an inconspicuous spot and etch something in there that is unique to you."

Lastly, Cox urges people to be good neighbors and keep an eye out for one another.

He said, "If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, give us a call."