The holiday season is once again upon us. Families and loved ones will celebrate the holidays, make merry new memories, and spend the traditional countless hours of standing in shopping lines and/or browsing the latest online deals. Unfortunately, this joyous time of year also brings out crooks and shysters who will cause headaches, heartaches, and discontent for the honest and hardworking folks. In 2013, the Missouri Highway Patrol Crime Statistics showed that a burglary occurred approximately every thirteen minutes and similarly there was a theft every three minutes. We as a community cannot allow this to happen in our neighborhoods. Let’s work together to reduce the odds of becoming victimized.
Posting your holiday get-away to a sunny and 85 degree beach on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram should wait until you’ve returned home safely. When you publicize your travel plans, you increase the chances of becoming a target and your online privacy settings alone won’t protect you.
Many of us in the upcoming weeks will be decorating inside and outside of our homes to show off our festive spirit. Outside, some of those hard to reach peaks can require the use of a ladder to hang lights or garland. Be sure to put that ladder in the garage or back into storage right away. Burglars and thieves look for easy invitations to take what rightfully belongs to you. Open garage doors, unlocked car doors, and ladders resting against homes may attract their attention.
Criminals today don’t mind strolling onto your porch and swiping the package sitting in plain sight meant to be your loved one’s Christmas surprise. When ordering online or from catalogs, try to schedule your package delivery when you’re at home. If possible, try to have your package delivered to your workplace, a nearby relative, or a trusted neighbor even. This simple step can increase the likelihood that you’ll see the smile you’d hoped to see on your loved one's face.
By working together and taking the necessary steps, we can make the festivities of this season unequal to years past. Remember to report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency as quickly as possible.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the Sheriff’s Office to talk more about how you can protect yourself during this season.
Paul C. Vescovo III
Sheriff, Clay County