Commonwealth Journal

Local News

December 23, 2013

SPD offers holiday safety tips

Somerset —

You better watch out ... you better make a list and check it twice ... because there are things you need to know to have a safe and secure holiday.
For those folks running around doing their last minute Christmas shop-ping, and for those on the road to visit friends and relatives, things can get a little dicey sometimes. But there are ways to prevent the worst-case scenario.
Capt. Shannon Smith of the Somerset Police Department noted that few things are more tempting to would-be thieves than visible items in your car when out at the stores.
“Don’t leave valuables in view in your vehicle,” he advised. “Women’s purses are a target for thieves, usually because they can see them inside the vehicle. The usually have a pretty good idea of what they’re getting once they get inside. If things of value are completely out of sight, or stored in the trunk, it’s less tempting for thieves to break in because they’re not sure what they’re getting.”
That’s especially signi-ficant when shopping, if loading items into the car and then moving on to the next place. You’re not taking the items with you inside ... but an exposed expensive gift is more enticing than one that’s safely locked away out of sight.
The same goes for your own gadgets — your GPS, your iPod, whatever.
Such thefts do happen with regular frequency noted Smith. However, “with our stepped-up patrols and things we’re doing this year, we hope to keep it to a minimum.”
Smith said the most common type of car thefts actually happen when a car is parked overnight outside a residence, not necessarily in a shopping environment.
“When people go out shopping, they have a heightened sense of awareness,” said Smith, “as opposed to dropping their guard when they get home and not securing their valuables or locking their doors.”

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