Due to the nature of the holiday, the week of Halloween tends to see an increase in certain types of crimes, including vandalism, drunken driving, and pedestrian accidents, experts say.
According to KSAT Crime Analyst Eddie Gonzales, who has served as a police officer for more than 30 years, homeowners should be on the lookout for an increased possibility of criminal mischief most commonly seen in the destruction or theft of holiday decorations.
“I think it just goes along with the stereotype Halloween image, that somehow, in their mind, it's just a mischievous prank, and to other people, it's destruction of private property,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales suggests taking a proactive approach to preventing vandalism by keeping Halloween decorations near the home, or bringing them in altogether.
In addition to the increased risk of vandalism the week of Halloween, law enforcement also tends to see an uptick in drunken drivers who are out celebrating the holiday.
“It’s sort of the unofficial start of the holiday season,” Gonzales said. “There's lots of parties, lots of events going on, and you'll have lots of alcohol involved.”
While agencies like the San Antonio Police Department are combating drunken drivers by putting extra officers on patrol, Gonzales said the general public should be more vigilant while on the road, and avoid driving at night, when DUI crashes are more likely to happen.
However, as trick-or-treaters make their way to neighborhood streets on Halloween night, Gonzales said pedestrians, in addition to drivers, should exercise caution.
“Be careful when you're out there, as far as being hit by a car,” Gonzales said. “There’s going to be a lot more pedestrian traffic, a lot more automobile traffic, people are going to be drinking.”
Because the likelihood of being hit by a car is greater on Halloween night, than any other night of the year, Gonzales said use your best judgment, when walking through city streets.
“Wear something reflective, and try to stay in groups when you're traveling,” Gonzales said. “And if you're a parent with small children that you're with, of course, never lose sight of them.”