It’s been called the most wonderful time of the year. However, the holidays can also be a terror if you’re not careful. That’s because crime doesn’t take a holiday.
Recently, Paris Police Chief John O’Brien offered some suggestions to enhance holiday security and deter thieves who might want to steal your holiday cheer and other things.
Here are some of his suggestions:
“If you are shopping, don’t lay purchases in the seat of the car where they can be seen,” he said. “Cover them with an extra jacket or blanket or lock them in the trunk. Always keep your car locked.”
O’Brien said when shopping, don’t lay your wallet or purse down anywhere. Keep an eye on your purchases at all times. Check bank statements frequently to watch for unusual credit card or debit card activity. If you see something wrong, notify the bank immediately.
“Around the house, keep your drapes and blinds closed so someone can’t see inside and see the tree and Christmas gifts,” he said. “If expecting a package, you can request that a notice be left so you can set a delivery time or go to a distribution center and pick up packages. With packages now, you can request a signature before a package is dropped off. That way, they don’t just drop it off if someone isn’t around to sign for it.”
The police chief added that there are people who will follow a delivery truck around town so they can see where packages are being left and go back and steal them.
“If you have gotten a gift, don’t discard the packaging where it can be seen,” O’Brien said. “You could be announcing you’ve gotten a gift to the wrong people. Instead, tear up the packaging and put it in a garbage bag or in a trash can where it can’t be seen.”
O’Brien also said that you should never announce that you’re going to be away from home on social media.
“You may be telling the wrong kind of people when you won’t be at home,” he said.
O’Brien also suggested that homeowners check into getting a security system installed.
“They aren’t that expensive anymore and you can sometimes get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance,” he said. “It’s worth looking into.”
The police chief also urged everyone to have a watchful eye.
“Watch your neighborhood,” he said. “Neighbors know who should and shouldn’t be in the neighborhood. Also, if you are going out of town, call us and ask for extra patrols of your residence. We keep a list and it’s never made public.”
O’Brien also urged people to refrain from drinking and driving during the holidays.
“If you drink, drink responsibly,” he said. “Use a designated driver. We want everyone to have a safe Christmas and a happy new year.”