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How to protect yourself from theft during the holiday season

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 5:32 PM EST
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - For many, this is the season of giving but for the criminal elements, it’s the season of taking. There is a rise in crimes of opportunity this time of the year from burglary to vehicle break-ins. The boldest of these are porch pirates who will steal packages right off your front porch.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, nearly 10 billion dollars in property was stolen last year in the U.S. Police say there are steps you can take to deter these thefts, starting with catching them on camera.

“A lot more people are having cameras on their house. Cameras, ring cameras and you know if somebody comes to their front porch and it activates you get good video of them. That’s made us more successful in catching the people that are doing this.” said Lieutenant Jeremy Halsey with the Princeton Police Department.

These holiday crooks like to work in the shadows, so Lieutenant Halsey suggests leaving lights on at your house or asking the delivery company to hold your package. There are also simple things you can do when it comes to the security of your car.

“Always make sure your vehicle is locked. There’s other things you can do besides locking your car. Park in a well lit area, maybe under a street lamp. If you’re at a supermarket, Walmart, Lowes. Whatever valuables you have in your car do your best to hide them whether you put it in the center console if it’s in plain view in the car, always try and hide it.” said Lt. Halsey.

Lt. Halsey reminds everyone to be on the lookout for scams and he says it’s also smart to lookout for your physical safety when you’re out shopping.

“Make sure you take a friend with you. If you’re going to be out late let you family know what time they should expect you to be home and where you’re going in the event that something does happen, there is something for law enforcement to go off of.” said Lt. Halsey.

It’s also important to pay attention to your surroundings and report suspicious activity so you or somebody else isn’t the victim of a Grinch.

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