Avoid becoming a victim during the holidays

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"Typically during the holiday season, we see an increase in traffic, an increase of crime in general, an increase in burglaries, property type crimes," said Sergeant Steve McDaniel, Jonesboro Police Department.

McDaniel says there are simple ways to help avoid becoming a target for those crimes.

"Anytime you advertise what you have you, in our opinion, create an opportunity for a criminal to commit a crime," said McDaniel.

For example, part of the joy of the holidays is decorating, for you and others to enjoy. Police say beware, you could be attracting the wrong kind of attention.

"Make sure that your windows are closed, that people can't see new items under your tree or out around your house," said McDaniel.

Once gifts are unwrapped, make sure not everyone knows what was on your wish list.

"People put boxes on the curb which contained all the brand new computers and TV's.  Well, those are kind of advertising for criminals that these items are brand new, and they're inside the house," said McDaniel.

'Tis the season for giving. Police say just make sure you know exactly who you're giving to and that they're reputable.  Police suggest making a list and sticking to it.

"When you do get a phone call from someone, you can say, 'Hey, I've already made my list of who to give to, but I can include you on my list,' and that will allow you to buy some time to check them out," said McDaniel.

Police say these tips are good habits to adopt. That's not just during the holidays, but for everyday.

"Without an opportunity, a criminal has a hard time committing a crime," said McDaniel.

Other holiday safety and crime prevention tips include:

-Don't leave unattended vehicles running in a parking lot

-Don't leave items like purses or purchases in plain sight in vehicles.

-With kids soon being out of school for the holiday break, beware that they could be riding their bikes or playing near the streets.

-And, among the most important with so many holiday parties going on, remember: Don't drink and drive.

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