Traveling for the holidays is a fun time of year! But, it's also a time when thieves want to steal your joy -- and your belongings.

Police and home security experts are cautioning holiday travelers to take steps to protect their property, before leaving town.

Numerous crime statistics show that the risk of burglaries increase, considerably, during the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel seasons.

Security experts suggest most of those crimes are not as random as you think.

Professional thieves know the tell-tale signs that no one's home. So, one thing you can do try to keep them guessing. Police say go out of your way to create an illusion that someone is home.

"You may want to leave a television on or stereo in a room that has a lot of valuables in it," said Sgt. Terry Dixon with the Grand Rapids Police Department. "The thought there is, if someone does approach your home, they might believe someone is in your home and then leave or flee."

And before you actually leave our home, you want to make sure that all of your doors are locked -- including your patio doors.

A couple of other tips include:

  • Installing motion sensors on the outside of your home
  • Don't leave spare keys outside under door mats, plants or in fake rocks
  • If you have a neighbor you trust, ask them to keep an eye out if they're in town
  • Call your local police department to see if they offer extra patrols in your community during the holidays

And last, but certainly not least, experts say don't put all of your business on social media sites like Facebook. Save some of those lovely pictures and posts for when you are back home.