It's the time of the year when a lot of us are in the spirit of giving, but for criminals, it's a perfect time for taking. Crooks love the holidays because it gives them more opportunities to steal, but there are some things you can do to make sure it doesn't happen to you.
Black Friday has come and gone, but the holiday deals will continue, which means a lot of you will be making some big purchases this month, but as you're rushing around for gifts, thieves may be in the parking lot looking out for what you bought.
"Try not to leave your purses or handbags out laying in the open inside of your car. Lock them in the trunk. As well as your presents. You're going from this store to this store, store your gifts and everything in the trunk of your car, that way it's locked and nobody sees what you have," Sgt. Shane McDaniel said.
McDaniel says you need to be aware of what's going on around you when you're shopping. To make sure you don't get robbed, he says you should try to park as close to the store as possible and in a well-lit area.
If you're shopping at night, police say you should try to walk back to your car with somebody else, but if you can't do that, you should have your keys ready before you head outside, that way you're not looking for your keys out in the dark, giving criminals a perfect opportunity to prey on you.
And if you're traveling during the holidays, you don't want to let criminals know that you're gone. You can leave a light on outside or ask a neighbor to watch your home, or even better, you can call the Sheriff's Office.
"Let us know that you're going to be gone for a substantial amount of time. You know, one week, two weeks, three weeks... and what this does is increase the patrol in that area for that house. Day time, evening time, lunch time, early morning time," McDaniel said.
It's not just robberies and burglaries that pick up during the holidays, scams pick up as well. McDaniel says people may receive notifications that they won a prize, but he it's usually just scammers looking for your personal information.
"If it's too good to be true, than it probably is,"McDaniel said.
Another word of advice, if you're ordering something expensive online, make sure somebody will be home when it arrives. You can also ship the item to your work. You don't want to come home and find out your package was stolen.
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