FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- While children wait with anticipation for Halloween, parents and homeowners are reminded to stay vigilant on the eve of the holiday commonly known as "mischief night," Fairfield police said.
For Fairfield Police Lt. James Perez, it is important to take precautions on a night filled with toilet paper-covered trees and flying eggs.
"People need to be cautious," Perez said. "If you're home, let it be known that you're home."
Some ways homeowners can follow the lieutenant's advice is to turn on your lights, inside and outside. Residents with Halloween displays may want to consider taking them in for the evening, especially their pumpkins, which are often smashed by trouble makers, he said.
Perez says that failing to clear your yard of decorations or leaving out any items may "entice" people to "target your property."
Police will up their presence Thursday night, Oct. 30, and question large groups of kids or any suspicious persons who are out on the streets, he said.
"There is no doubt that on mischief night there is an uptick in police response," Perez said.
And while police will do all they can to make sure the evening is a safe, they will need the cooperation of Fairfield's 60,000 citizens.
"If [residents] hear someone on their property, don't take it into your own hands ... sometimes all that does is embolden them," Perez said. "Just stay inside and call us."
Those planning on taking part in the night's cult-like traditions should remember that if they commit a crime, there are serious consequences, he said.
"They should understand that when they hit a moving vehicle they are committing a recklessness that will result in an arrest," Perez said. "If someone is injured, they will face serious charges. ... When someone gets hurt kids will talk and we will find those responsible."
Unfortunately, Perez said, there is not much police can do to completely stop any mischievous events from happening.
"It's important people understand [mischief night] is a tradition," he said. "We're not going to stop it, but we will do as much as we can to manage it."
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