POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - Police will be making holiday patrols between now and Christmas Eve.
Officers will be staggered on more than 40 additional eight-hour shifts during this time.
The officers will be visible around businesses, parking lots and residential areas throughout the city to prevent crimes of opportunity. They will be patrolling the areas, as well as walking through businesses, to try to deter crime and increase safety for the community.
Police also have some holiday crime prevention tips:
- Always park in well-lit areas and park close to the entrance of the store or business.
- Don’t talk on a cell phone when walking to and from your vehicle. Keep your full attention on your surroundings.
- Don’t electronically unlock your vehicle until you are within door opening distance. This helps stop a thief from getting into the car and waiting to strike when you least expect it.
- If you are ready to leave the business and feel uneasy about entering the parking lot or garage by yourself, stay in the store and wait for a friend before exiting.
- Do not open your car door to anyone in a parking lot or garage. If you believe you are in danger, call 911 immediately.
- ALWAYS lock your car and residence, even if you are away for only a few moments.
- Do NOT leave valuables - gifts, cell phones, purse or clothing - in open view in your car. Take valuables with you, lock them in your trunk, or cover them in an unobtrusive way.
- Leave lights turned on both inside and outside your residence after dark. Criminals don’t like bright places.
- If you will be away from home for several days, make arrangements for someone to pick up your mail and newspapers. An overstuffed mailbox is a sure sign that no one is home, and burglars are tempted to check those envelopes for holiday gifts.
- Keep your purse close to your body.
- If the pocketbook has long straps, shorten them.
- If possible, avoid carrying a large purse when shopping.
- Carry only the credit cards you intend to use, leave the others behind.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Use checks or check cards.
- Use ATMs wisely. Have the card ready before approaching the machine, and use ATMs in high traffic areas.
- Be aware of the environment. Don’t walk or park in poorly lit areas. Don’t take shortcuts through wooded areas. Don’t be distracted by a cell phone conversation.
- Have car keys ready before leaving the office, store or mall.
- If you believe someone is following you, cross the street, switch directions, walk into a store or restaurant and ask someone to call the police.
- Outside of the mall, stick to well-lit, well-traveled streets, walkways, and parking areas for both walking and parking.
- Stay off the cell phone as you walk through parking lots and streets. It is a distraction that makes you vulnerable to robbers, and your cell phone itself is a tempting target.
- Don’t flash large amounts of cash or offer tempting targets for theft such as expensive jewelry or clothing.