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      Engraving prepares students for Spring Break crimes

      Local universities and colleges are having spring break this month and Columbia police are taking a proactive approach to potential crimes when students and families leave for warmer climates.

      Officers at the police department TMs mobile command post are offering free engraving between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday near Fire Station 8, just south of Nifong Boulevard on Churchill Drive.

      Engraving serial numbers and other product codes on belongings makes it easier for police to indentify stolen items taken during the spring break holiday.

      Historically speaking, anytime the students are gone during breaks, we notice an increase, or a spike if you will, in burglaries and crimes of opportunity," Columbia Police Sgt. Candy Cornman said. "Obviously, the burglary situation over the Christmas break was huge factor in this. It really brought our attention to it and prompted us to focus in on the burglaries in the southeast part of the city. Hopefully, we can reduce those over spring break and in the future.

      The engravers are also available for loan, free of charge, from the Columbia Police Department.