Common sense can keep home safe dur­ing hol­i­days

The Standard Journal - - POLICE - Staff Re­ports

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.

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