GPD offers holiday safety tips

SUBMITTED :::

The Griffin Police Department will be taking an aggressive stance this holiday season.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, GPD officers will be conducting details along with daily general patrol at busy shopping centers during the times when people can become vulnerable to theft and other holiday crimes.

Shoppers can be so easily distracted with all the activities that they don’t realize criminals are seeking out someone to victimize, and unfortunately, with all the gaiety, law-abiding citizens let their innate sense of caution temporarily fall by the wayside.

Criminals will blend in with the crowds, stalking victims. They will break into vehicles to steal gifts or any other items left in view. They will work in pairs in the stores, distracting you by asking questions or carrying on a conversation while the other person steals your purse or cell phone sitting in your cart.

With this in mind, the Police Department would like to provide a list of safety tips that will aid in your safety for the upcoming holidays.

– Never leave valuables in your vehicle that are in plain view of anyone walking by.
– Lock all your doors.
– Report any suspicious activity to the nearest police officer or call 911.
– Try to shop during the day time.
– If you need assistance carrying out your purchase to the vehicle, ask an employee to assist you.
– Avoid carrying a purse if possible. Do not carry a large amount of cash. If you must carry a purse, have one with a strap you can put over your shoulder, and put a jacket or sweater on over the strap so that criminals cannot snatch it off.
– Beware of any stranger approaching you for any reason. Con artists that may try various methods of distracting you.
– Use ATM machines wisely. If someone is standing too close to you, walk away and come back later.
– Place all your purchases in the trunk of your vehicle. If you drive an SUV, truck or other type of vehicle in which there is not a secured trunk area, take your purchases home and then return shopping.

HOME HOLIDAY TIPS
Someone is watching. Thieves spend time walking around your neighborhood, looking at houses that may appear homeowners are not at home. If your home is darkened while other homes around yours are festive and well-lit, these criminals will be drawn to your residence.

If you are on vacation or even plan a day trip away, have a neighbor or friend watch your home while you are away. Contact the local Police Department and have your house placed on a house watch.

– Remember, someone can be watching when you leave your house and when you return.
– Leave lights on at your residence.
– Keep a television or radio on.
– Never leave valuables where criminals will look such as bedroom drawers, nightstands and your jewelry boxes. Hide them in an inconspicuous area if possible.
– Write down the serial numbers of all your electronics and any other valuables.
– Keep all receipts from purchases that you make.
– Photographing your property such as televisions, stereos, electronics, jewelry, weapons or any other items can help identify them if they are taken.
– Lock your doors at your residence.
– Lock your vehicles. Do not leave anything of value in them.
– Again, report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

The Griffin Police Department and all its employees want to wish the citizens of Griffin a happy, safe, joyous holiday season, and take a moment to remember those who cannot be with their families this year.

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