’Tis the seasonPublished 11:48pm Monday, December 17, 2012
By Karen Ball
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers Coordinator and Crime Prevention Specialist
Christmas and the holiday shopping season is a peak time for crimes such as home break-in, theft and robbery. We want to share some valuable tips that can help reduce the chances of you being a victim of these crimes.
When at home, make sure you lock the doors and windows of your residence and vehicles at all times. Do not leave valuables in plain sight for someone to see by simply looking in your house or vehicle windows. Remove GPS systems, IPods, Mp3 players, coins, laptops, pocket books and other valuables from your vehicle when you go into your home.
Don’t display gifts and other valuables where they can be seen from a window or doorway. If you go out in the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house looks occupied. If you go on vacation, consider getting an automatic timer for some of your interior lights. Asking a neighbor or trusted friend to watch your house, pick up the mail and/or newspapers and to park their car in your driveway from time to time is another great option.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office also offers a house check service, which is free of charge for county residents and property owners. If you are going out of town for the holidays or an upcoming vacation, call the Sheriff’s Office at 252-946-0101. You can notify our Communications Center of the dates you will be away from your residence so we can dispatch a deputy to stop by your house daily to make sure the windows and doors are secure.
After Christmas, don’t advertise your new electronics or other new items that you have received by putting the empty packing boxes out on the curb for garbage collection. Break the boxes down and fold them to ensure the labels are not visible on the outside. Most criminals are opportunistic and are looking for an easy score. Making a few simple adjustments can reduce the chances of you being that easy target.
For more crime prevention tips or information on starting a Community Watch program in your neighborhood, call Inv. Karen Ball at 252-946-7111.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!