Holidays see spike in local burglaries

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Burglaries across the nation are on the rise during the holiday season.

That is true for Demopolis and other Marengo towns, according to Demopolis Interim Police Chief Tim Williams.

“It picks up this time of year,” he said. “I don’t know that we’ve had much of an increase this year, but we’ve had burglaries in the past where somoone breaks into a house and steals every present under the Christmas tree. We’ve had some Grinches.”

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According to Williams, “There are lots of things people can do to help themselves, both before and after the holiday.”

Number one his list is eliminating temptation.

“Lock your car and don’t leave gifts visible,” he said. “Put them in the trunk, or if nothing else, cover them with a blanket.”

Williams also suggests residents leave outside lights on this time of year. Even sensor lights help in avoiding thefts and burglaries.

“If you have an alarm in your house, set it,” he said. “Take the time to know how to use your home alarms.”

And after Christmas, the chief asks citizens not to put their “big ticket item” boxes on the curb next to the garbage can.

“Break up the boxes and put them in a trash bag, because these boxes show everybody what you have inside,” he said. “It pays to take good, common sense precautions.”

Anyone leaving town during this time of year should take advantage of the police department’s Residence Check. All it takes is for a person to call the police department and let them know about an out-of-town stay and police will take the time for extra patrols. Be prepared to give the police a point of contact and information particular to the residence.

Anther tip, the chief said, is that people who will be away should stop their mail and newspaper delivery service while they are gone, or have a neighbor collect mail and pick up newspapers for them.