The holiday season---the time of giving and stealing
"It's a trend," Mike Addison explains, "It's always like this."
Addison is a detective for the Criminal Investigation Division at the Paragould Police Department. He explains that during the summer there are a higher number of theft-related arrests, then robbery activity dies down. However, beginning November 1st, activity picks back up until the beginning of the New Year. So far this year, out of 302 arrests made, 116 of them were theft-related. This includes both home and car break-ins.
Addison provides several tips to keep one from becoming a victim. He advises against telling many people that you will be out of town. He claims that thieves know your schedule and routine and will know when you are away. Addison also advises that if you do head off for the holidays, make sure neighbor or friend checks on your home periodically.
To keep from anything being stolen from your car, Addison simply warns against leaving any valuable property-purses, iPods, computers, g.p.s. systems, etc. ---out of plain sight. He adds to simply lock your doors. He does admit that criminals will break the windows to get what they want, but Addison is shocked by how many people continue to leave doors unlocked....even keys it the ignition. Addison says that of the vehicle break-ins they are called out to, around 95% of victims admit to leaving doors unlocked.
Whenever a criminal is arrested, Addison asks them why they hit certain places, how they do it, and why they committed the crime. The West side of Paragould, more middle and upper class, is the area perpetrators claim they focus on. According, to Addison, when asked why, most reply "that's where the money's at."
When asked if the economy could potentially cause more break-ins, Addison says he hopes not, either way, the number of theft cases will increase.
Addison says thieves claim they are hungry or can't get a job. Saying there's no work and they're stealing basically to pay bills and to buy food.
This issue has been addressed before and Addison claims warnings go out every year, but sadly, people believe these things will never happen to them...until it does.
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