Inat­ten­tive mo­ment can change it all

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - OPINIONS -

his is a busy time of year for those im­mersed in Christ­mas shop­ping. It’s also a busy time for op­por­tunists who, if they spot an open­ing, would be only too happy to re­lieve shop­pers of their brand-new pur­chases.

A few min­utes of care­less­ness and a cou­ple of brazen thieves could undo a lot of hard work for the buyer and cost them a pile of money.

Po­lice is­sue the usual re­minders at this time of year about be­ing sure to lock ve­hi­cles when out on ex­cur­sions - bet­ter yet, lock valu­able items out of sight in the trunk. Vis­i­ble temp­ta­tion can be a big mo­ti­va­tor. A spur of the mo­ment smash-and-grab is not en­tirely un­heard of in a down­town or in a mall park­ing lot.

But law of­fi­cers this year are also sug­gest­ing peo­ple use some strat­egy when mak­ing the rounds.

Never un­der­es­ti­mate the lengths prospec­tive thieves might go through in at­tempts to get their hands on high-priced items. Hal­i­fax Re­gional Po­lice, for ex­am­ple, said crooks some­times stake out in­tended vic­tims, fol­low­ing the shop­pers’ moves after leav­ing high­end stores with ex­pen­sive items.

What can some­times hap­pen is, if the shop­per stows the items in a ve­hi­cle, then vis­its another store af­ter­ward, the thief has a pretty good idea about the qual­ity of goods in that ve­hi­cle.

Po­lice sug­gest in such in­stances of buy­ing ex­pen­sive items to take them home im­me­di­ately. Peo­ple should plan their trip to leave those par­tic­u­lar stores last on the agenda.

Ad­di­tion­ally, peo­ple should be sure to take goods into the house upon ar­rival at home rather than take any chances by leav­ing them in the ve­hi­cle.

The usual pre­cau­tions are in or­der too even after items are safely in the home. Po­lice of­ten sug­gest that pack­ag­ing put out for re­cy­cling can be a good clue to break-in artists. Card­board boxes from tele­vi­sions, com­put­ers and en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems, if dis­carded, should be done in such a way that they don’t pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to some­one mak­ing the rounds about the brand new goods in the house­hold.


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