Sheriff’s office offers safety tips for last minute shoppersPublished 2:25am Saturday, December 21, 2013
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To many, Christmas is one of the greatest times of the year. Unfortunately, it is also a great time of the year for opportunistic criminals.
Friday, Chief Deputy Johnny Hall with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office contacted The Daily Leader to give tips that might decrease the chances of being a victim at any time this Christmas.
When shopping, Hall advises the following:
• Be aware of your surroundings.
• Keep your purse close to you at all times. Never leave it in a shopping cart.
• Keep cell phones out of sight.
• Make sure valuable items are not left in plain sight or unattended in a vehicle.
• Try not to make more than one trip back to your vehicle to drop off purchased items.
• If possible, shop with others.
• Park as close to the store as possible, preferably in a well lit spot.
• Report any suspicious activity to the police.
While Christmas trees grace living rooms all over the city, they can also be the source of an accidental fire. Some of the tips to prevent this from happening include:
• Keep the tree as far away from a power source as possible.
• Be sure to keep an eye on lit candles and place them an appropriate distance from the tree.
• Try not to have any more than three strands of mini light sets decorating the tree. Also, 50 bulbs for screw-in light sets are advisable.
• Never leave lights on over night.
For those who go on vacation, Hall offers a few tips as well:
• Use an automatic timer for some lights.
• Have a neighbor randomly check up on things and collect the newspaper for you.
Other tips include:
• Never leave presents in front of an open window.
• Do not put Christmas gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve.
• Be sure to get rid of or hide empty boxes that indicate a recent purchase.
Halls says that if citizens follow these tips, they have less chance of becoming a victim this Christmas.