Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years’ holidays are fast approaching. It’s one of the busiest times for law enforcement because some many people are out shopping, visiting and enjoying the season. However, these factors and the usual distractions of shopping create a favorable environment for thieves and robbers who are out to take advantage every chance they get. Our home break-ins will double or triple over the next two months. Cars in shopping centers and sometimes driveways will be broken into when gifts and packages are left inside them.
A single shopper is the best target for theft. Always shop with a friend or relative. Tell someone where you are going and what time to expect you to return. Make sure they know what you are wearing and the type of vehicle you are driving. Shop during daylight hours when possible. If you do shop at night park in a well-lit area. Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry. Keep car keys in a pants or jacket pocket.
Always pay careful attention to your surroundings. When returning to your vehicle, check around it and in the back seat. Have your car keys in your hand to avoid spending unnecessary time outside your vehicle. If you feel uneasy returning to your vehicle alone, find a security guard and ask them to walk you to your car. Always store purchased items in a trunk or back storage area of SUVs where they cannot be seen.
When away from home make your house appear occupied by leaving a light and or TV on. Really valuable gifts should be kept in a safe and secure place until the very last minute when possible. Large picture windows with large quantities of gifts around a tree that can be easily seen by passersby invite trouble. If you have an alarm system, please use it. We’ve had instances where someone was going to just run up the road to the store and did not bother to turn on the alarm system and returned to find their home broken into.
The holiday seasons bring much pleasure and joy. It is also a very fast paced and busy time for us all. Because of this it is most important that we pay attention and take precautions to help reduce our chances of becoming a victim. With that said, I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.