Charles County Sheriff's Office Provides Holiday Safety Tips

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The Charles County Sheriff's Office wants to ensure the citizens of Charles County celebrate a safe holiday season and is offering tips for the community to remember during this busy time of year.

"Some criminals try to take advantage of the holiday season, meaning there is an increased potential for thefts and robberies," said Charles County Sheriff Frederick E. Davis. "The Sheriff's Office has already begun implementing our holiday safety initiatives but we want to make sure citizens and businesses are reminded of the important tips that will help them protect themselves."

Sheriff's Officers will maintain high visibility at shopping centers and retail establishments by increasing patrol in those areas. The Sheriff's Office hopes the increased police presence will comfort citizens as they shop and deter would-be criminals from engaging in criminal activity. Officers will also conduct undercover operations as part of the holiday safety initiative.

Students in the Criminal Justice Program offered by the Sheriff's Office and the Board of Education and members of Explorers Post 1658 will help prevent crime during the holidays by participating in the Detect and Deter program. During Detect and Deter, both of the uniformed groups identify potential targets of theft by walking through parking lots and finding vehicles with shopping bags, gifts, cell phones and other valuables in plain view. They notify the drivers of the consequences that can occur from this and educate them in crime prevention techniques.

Finally, the Sheriff's Office is offering this list of tips to citizens:

When Shopping:

Stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you.

Park in a well-lighted space and be sure to lock the car and close the windows.

Hide shopping bags, gifts and other valuables in the trunk.

Don't overburden yourself with packages. Make several trips to the car if necessary.

Keep purses close to your body and keep wallets in a front pants pocket.

Never carry large amounts of cash or count cash where others can see you.

Make sure any children you may be shopping with know to go to a store clerk or security guard if you are separated.

Vehicle Safety:

Always keep windows up and doors locked, even at home.

Don't leave your vehicle running to let it warm up. Vehicle thieves see this as an easy opportunity to steal a vehicle.

When Traveling:

Get an automatic timer for your lights.

Have mail and newspaper delivery stopped so it won't pile up.

Have a trusted friend or neighbor keep an eye on your house, shovel snow and park in your driveway from time to time.

At Home:

When placing the garbage out for pickup, conceal boxes that contained expensive items - otherwise, you could be advertising what you have for burglars.

If you answer the door for a stranger who is seeking charitable donations, ask for the person's identification and how the funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, you are not obligated to give.

Take the opportunity to create or update your home inventory; Take

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