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Holidays bring happiness, good cheer but also an increase in preventable crimes

While the holidays give us time to enjoy family, friends and good cheer, they also provide an increased opportunity for some common but preventable crimes.  By taking simple steps, you can help safeguard your holiday enjoyment and prevent crime.

One crime on the rise is the theft of wallets from unattended purses.  While it may seem safe to place your purse in a shopping cart basket or hang it from the back of a chair while dining out, it is anything but safe.  Thieves troll public shopping and dining areas looking to take advantage of this common practice.  It only takes an instant for a thief to lift a wallet from the purse of a distracted shopper or diner.  Victims are often unaware of the loss until they go to make a purchase. By then, however, the damage is done – their credit cards have already been used at multiple locations.

To avoid having your wallet targeted, consider carrying a smaller purse or cross body bag.  A smaller purse will be less awkward while shopping and can be held in your lap while dining.  A cross body bag will allow you to shop or dine hands free.  Always use closures such as zippers or buckles to secure purse contents.  Only carry the credit cards you plan to use in order to limit losses if your wallet is taken.

Package theft is also on the rise during the holiday season.  Packages left unattended on porches are more often becoming gifts for porch pirates. Consider the following when placing an order for subsequent delivery:

-              Have packages delivered to a location where someone will be present to accept them such as your work or to a friend or relative who would be home to accept them. 
-              Require a signature for all deliveries.  
-              Take advantage of delivery services that offer to hold packages for pick-up.
-              Use tracking services provided by the shipper to follow the progress of your package and make arrangements for a friend or neighbor to remove it from your porch once delivered.

While we are fortunate to live in a safe community, the “it will never happen to me” way of thinking is not realistic.  We all need to do our part to keep our community safe and taking steps to stop preventable crimes is a good way to ensure a happier holiday season.