• 73°

DPD offers holiday safety, shopping tips

With the holiday season nearly upon us, there will be a certain segment of society out to ruin the fun for the rest of us.
Christmas and the holiday shopping season is a peak time for crimes such as home burglaries, thefts, and even muggings.
Demopolis Chief of Police Tommie Reese said the trend is an annual occurrence that will begin near Thanksgiving before cycling itself out shortly after the new year.
“We’re going to be out on the streets. We’re going to patrol and we’re going to be on the lookout,” Reese said of his department’s plans to combat the annual uptick in crime. “But there are a lot of things people can do themselves to protect themselves.”
Reese noted that many of the holiday crimes that are committed are crimes of opportunity. Taking those opportunities away from would-be criminals would be key.
“When you go shopping, park in a well lit area,” he said. “Do not leave valuables in your car. Don’t leave your car unlocked.”
Also, Reese said once shoppers safely park their cars, they should be more keenly aware of their surroundings.
“Don’t carry a lot of money on you,” Reese said. “If possible, use checks and credit cards. And when you get home, don’t put your presents in front of a window.”
Above all, Reese said, exercising common safeguards during the holiday season should be more than enough to keep holidays festive and merry.
“This time of year is not unsafe. Demopolis is not unsafe,” he said. “But there’s going to be a small section of the community, in every community and every city regardless of size, looking to make their holiday’s better at someone else’s expense.”