Since October, there have been a total of 149 forced-entry and non-forced-entry burglaries reported to the Roswell Police Department, including 50 vehicle burglaries. Becoming a victim of crime puts a damper on anyone’s holidays. A number of measures can be taken to prevent crime during the Christmas season and throughout the year.
• Always park in a well-lit and well traveled area. Do not park in a remote dark area.
• Lock vehicles and when returning to a car, scan the interior before climbing inside.
• Check to see if you are being followed. Keep keys in hand and be ready to unlock the door to prevent delay caused by fumbling for keys.
• Keep items purchased at stores out of sight. Ideally, in the locked trunk.
• Even if gifts are stored in the trunk, remember to keep the vehicle locked since the trunk can be accessed from the inside of the car.
• If possible, take a break and take purchases home rather than leaving them unattended even in a locked vehicle.
• Never leave the keys in the ignition even for a few minutes.
• If the worst happens and you are approached, don’t resist if someone attempts to take personal items.
• Keep purse, wallet, or cellular telephone in hand while shopping and don’t turn your back on them.
• Don’t leave any valuables in the glove compartment.
• Check to see who is around at an ATM before withdrawing cash.
• Carry only those cards needed. Do not carry large amount of cash.
• With credit card purchases, obtain the carbons or see that they are destroyed in front of you.
• Beware of scams. Things are not always what they appear to be, especially on the internet.
• Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
• Keep presents out of sight. Piles of gift-wrapped goodies under the tree that are visible through a door or window are tempting to thieves.
• Don’t leave empty boxes on display outside. Discarded packaging advertises all the new items purchased.
• Don’t leave car keys and handbags lying around.
• Make it look like someone is at home when out for the evening. Leave lights on and close the curtains. Set burglar alarms.
• If going away for the holidays ask a friend, relative or neighbor to keep an eye on your house. Get timers so lights will go on and off at appropriate times and arrange to have someone pick up mail, newspapers and packages.
• Have all valuable property marked and maintain a list of registration numbers.
• Motion sensor lighting will highlight unwanted people on property.
• Do not feed electrical cords through partially opened windows in order to power festive lights.
• Don’t hide keys outside. Give a spare key to a family member or trusted neighbor.
• Secure garages and sheds, fit additional padlocks and make sure tools are not left lying around the garden. Make sure that outbuildings are locked.
The Roswell Daily Record wishes you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.