Lo­cal crime rate to spike this hol­i­day

Take steps to pro­tect your­self

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Tyler Smith

While the hol­i­day sea­son may be a time of joy and mer­ri­ment, it is also a peak time of the year for crime.

“His­tor­i­cally we have seen an in­crease in bur­glar­ies and per­sonal thefts around the hol­i­days,” said New­ton County Sher­iff’s Lt. Bill Wat­ter­son.

De­cem­ber is the per­fect time of the year to per­form a se­cu­rity as­sess­ment of prop­erty, Wat­ter­son said.

Peo­ple should make sure w i n d ows are locked, their flood lights are wo r k i n g and their valu­ables are put away out of sight. “You want to re­move temp­ta­tion,” Wat­ter­son said. “If you keep it where they can’t see it, they are less likely to go look­ing for it.”

While peo­ple usu­ally claim their house is se­cure, Wat­ter­son said they of­ten for­get their out build­ings and stor­age sheds. Th­ese stor­age build­ings are fre­quent tar­gets of crim­i­nals be­cause they are reg­u­larly away from the main house and are less se­cure.

Wat­ter­son said re­tail stores also see in­creases in thefts and gen­eral crime this time of the year, but a few sim­ple steps can lessen the like­li­hood of be­ing a vic­tim.

“ Keep a low amount of cash in the till,” Wat­ter­son said. “ If you have a large trans­ac­tion, go ahead and put that money in your safe or take it to the bank. And when you make your de­posits at the bank, make the trips on an ir­reg­u­lar sched­ule.”

It is also im­por­tant to keep win­dows clear of too many dec­o­ra­tions and other items which might block a per­son’s view. If the inside of a store is clearly vis­i­ble from the out­side, a thief is less likely to rob the store. Clear win­dows also give store own­ers a greater chance of see­ing any sus­pi­cious peo­ple out­side the busi­ness.

“Any­time you see a sus­pi­cious per­son, give us a call,” Wat­ter­son said. “ Go ahead and try to get a good de­scrip­tion of them. Get their tag num­ber and how many oc­cu­pants are in the ve­hi­cle. We re­ally just want peo­ple to be aware of their sur­round­ings.”

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