Common sense can keep home safe during holidays
Common sense can go a long way to preventing holiday season crime, according to Rockmart Police Chief Keith Sorrells.
Sorrells said crimes involving theft, particularly burglaries, go up from Thanksgiving to through the New Year.
He said there is one simple thing people can do to protect their homes: call police and let officers know you are going out of town.
“Let us know in advance and we will keep a check on your house with the idea that no one should be around there,” he said.
Sorrells said people can also let a trusted neighbor or family member know when they are away so they can keep a watch on the property.
The chief also advises to keep a low profile on items in the home.
“Don’t leave things in plain sight where people can look in the window and see them,” he said.
Sorrells also said to leave outside lights on when at home and away and said to use different lights at different times so would-be burglars can’t tell when someone is home and when their not.
He said to park cars in garages and keep the door down all the time. This not only protects the car, but also doesn’t leave any clues about who is home.
Sorrells said there have been significant problems in the Calloway subdivision, so those in hard-hit crime areas need to be especially vigilant in locking everything up every day. That includes cars, even when someone is at home.
“Don’t leave anything visible in the car, a purse, a phone, an iPad. Put packages in the trunk,” Sorrells said.
The police chief said shopping can also be a time when thieves tar- get people for crime. He said to park in a lighted area and put keys in your hand before you exit the store.
“A key can be used as a weapon too,” he said.
Sorrells said a panic button on a car remote can also be helpful. He said press it if anyone suspicious approaches.
“When the car starts making that noise, if they were there for the wrong reasons, they’re going to start running,” he said.
One of the biggest changes someone can make to ensure their safety is to keep head buds out of their ears while shopping or walking to the car. Sorrells said a thief can suddenly appear without warning because the victim was distracted and couldn’t hear them.
“Be vigilant about being aware of your surroundings,” he said.
Sorrells said something else people should do is write down makes, models and serial numbers of all their values and take pictures of each item. Police can enter items into the crime database only if they have serial numbers, he said.
He said victims can’t reclaim items without proof and a serial number is the only solid proof police can use it identify items.