The Austin Police Department would like to remind the public, especially visitors to Austin, of the following safety tips during SXSW 2018 to prevent hotel burglaries:
- Lock valuables. Lock items such as electronics, car keys, cash, jewelry in hotel room safes or keep them with you if possible. You can also ask to use the hotel’s safe.
- Deter people from entering the room. Don't Hang the ''Make Up This Room” card on the door, instead leave the ''Do Not Disturb'' sign up and the television on.
- Avoid displaying valuables. Avoid showing large amounts of cash, jewelry, or other valuables at the registration desk, hotel restaurant or lobby.
- Lock the door. Take an extra moment to turn around to make sure the door has closed and the lock has engaged. Don’t share your room number with others.
- Take your belongings with you. Take everything with you that is irreplaceable.
- Be proactive. Install tracking software on electronics and make sure you have serial numbers in case you need to report items lost or stolen.
- Report it. If you become a victim of burglary, report it immediately by calling 9-1-1.
APD has worked several hotel burglary calls in previous years. Investigation results show the burglaries often occurred while victims were out at SXSW events. Often times, the suspect(s) would enter rooms by forcing doors open, stealing primarily electronic and technology related items.