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Police Urge Caution During Holiday Season

The opportunity for robberies, burglaries and thefts from vehicles increase during the holidays, police say.

As holidays approach, Montgomery County police warn residents to be extra vigilant for robberies, burglaries and thefts from vehicles. According to a police statement, the opportunity for these incidents increase during the holidays.

In addition to the police department’s yearly “Shop with a Cop” campaign, Montgomery County police have released the following safety tips:

When shopping:

  • Do not become distracted by your shopping. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Park in well-lighted parking lots and as close to stores as possible.
  • Lock car doors, and keep packages hidden in the trunk or under the seats of your vehicle.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash with you.
  • Making multiple trips back to your vehicle to store packages in the trunk as you shop keeps you from becoming overburdened by packages and able to move freely.
  • Carry your closed purse as close to your body as possible.
  • Carry a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.       

When out walking:

  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Walk with confidence and know where you are going.
  • Trust your instincts; if something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave the area.
  • Stick to well-lighted and well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots or alleys.
  • Do not flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
  • Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
  • If you think that someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street and walk toward an open store, restaurant or lighted house.

At home:

  • If your Christmas tree can be seen through a window, do not display presents under the tree where they could be seen.
  • Make sure to lock doors and windows.
  • If you are going away for the holiday, let a neighbor know that your home will not be occupied and have someone keep an eye on your home.  Ask someone to pick up your mail and newspapers.
  • Place your lights on timers to give the appearance that someone is at home.
  • After the holidays, be sure to break down cardboard boxes from gifts for recycling so that a potential burglar does not know your home has a new computer, TV, video game system, etc.

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