Personal safety during the holiday season

Tips on how to remain safe, be careful and aware of your surroundings during the holiday season.

The December holiday season is a time for family and friends to come together for fellowship and to celebrate. The holidays usually bring about a lot of shopping and fun gatherings. It is a time to get together with loved ones and a time to share wonderful memories of the year. All these things are very exciting. Unfortunately, the holiday season also brings about an increase in crime and theft. The crimes are possibly committed by those who don’t have holiday presents or prey on the increase of people shopping.

In December, I stopped at a local mall to pick up one small item. I was only in the mall for about 40 minutes. When I came out to my car I was met by mall security. The security officer let me know the police were called because they apprehended a man trying to get into my car. Apparently, he watched me get out of my car and didn’t think I locked my doors. He went around to each of my car doors trying to pull them open. Luckily, mall security was driving around and noticed the foul play. They took my contact information and let me know the suspect was in the back of the vehicle. He denied doing anything wrong, but was caught red-handed. The authorities would decide how to handle the situation. I was very grateful he did not gain access to my vehicle, but sometimes others are not so lucky.

Michigan State University Extension offers the following tips to increase your personal safety and decrease the likelihood of crime or theft during the holiday season and all times of the year:

  • Always lock your car and house doors – even if you live in a safe neighborhood.
  • When you leave from home or your car, check your surroundings to make sure you don’t see anyone suspicious that could be up to no good.
  • Don’t leave visible bags or packages in your car. Always put bags, packages or gifts in your trunk where no one can see them.
  • When possible, walk in groups of people when it is dark to increase safety.
  • When walking, don’t take any short cuts through alleys or dead end streets.
  • Always have your keys ready when you are walking to your car or house so you can get right in and won’t have to look through your purse or bag when you get there.

For more tips on staying safe during the holiday season, please visit Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Top 12 Tips for Holiday Safety.

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