Real-life “Grinches” are lurking all around Iowa and it’s unlikely they’ll be like the cartoon character and return holiday gifts they steal. One expert offers a few tips to Iowans who are heading out of town over the next few weekends to make their homes look occupied.Ranisa Rubin is spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute. She says leaving a car in the driveway is another sign that someone might be home. Burglars may also pass you by if they see lights come on in different parts of the house — which you can make happen with timers.Rubin suggests people turn down the volume on their telephones and on their answering machines so those devices don’t give away the fact they’re not home. Also, she says to be careful not to send burglars a sign with your window treatments. She says leave the blinds and curtains in the normal position so you don’t tip off robbers that you aren’t home.Another good tip is to stop mail & newspaper delivery while you’re away so those items don’t pile up in the mailbox or on the doorstep.
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