Many people can become victims of burglary, theft, and other crimes during the holidays, and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department has released crime prevention tips.
In a press release, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said the department hopes to help residents have safe and fun holidays.
- Park in lighted areas at night.
- Always lock your car.
- Don’t try to cover items on your seats. Put shopping bags in your trunk or take your packages straight home after shopping and go back out.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you. Keep money in your front pocket—not in your purse or wallet.
- Be extra careful when carrying a purse—they are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas. If you must carry one, make sure it has a strap that can go over the shoulder and be held under the arm, making them more difficult for purse snatchers to grab.
- Keep a record of all of your debit and credit card numbers in a safe place at your home.
- Beware of strangers approaching you. This is the time of year when thieves may try various methods to distract you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
- Pay attention. Don’t be distracted while texting or using your cell phone.
- Always lock your home, garage, and outbuildings. Even if you are only going to be away for a few minutes.
- When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
- Leave a light on when you leave your home at night or put your lights on an automatic timer.
- Leave a television or radio on, so your home looks and sounds occupied.
- Make sure your holiday gifts are not visible through the windows and doors of your home.
- Never say you are away from home on the outgoing message on your answering machine or voice mail. Simply say you are unable to answer the phone at the time.
- Never post on your social networking website that you are away from home. Wait until you return and then post the fun details of your trip.
- After the holidays, don’t advertise gifts by leaving boxes for the garbage collection. Flatten boxes and place in a sealed garbage bag.
One of the best ways to prevent crime is to have “nosy” neighbors. Be watchful of suspicious cars or people in your neighborhood. Have a neighbor watch your house, and do the same for them.
If you see something suspicious, call the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department at (865) 457-2414 or your local police immediately.
One of the best crime prevention tools is a Neighborhood Watch program. For information on starting or joining a Neighborhood Watch group, contact Sheriff’s Department Crime Prevention Officer Deputy David Massengill, at (865) 457-6255, extension 1150.
White said deputies will be out in force to help deter burglaries and thefts in an effort to keep the community safe. Ensuring you and your family have a safe holiday season is our top priority.
“On behalf of the men and women of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season,” White said.