Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be wary of burglars, thieves, pickpockets,
and other holiday grinches. Nothing can ruin the Christmas spirit faster than becoming the victim
of a crime.
Remember, whether you are leaving the house to go shopping or out for an evening of
Christmas parties, lock your doors and windows! Don't leave the drapes open with your presents
in plain view. Christmas presents displayed around your tree can be a pretty sight, but can also
be quite tempting to burglars. It's better to scatter the gifts around the house, in closets or
cupboards, where they can't be so easily seen.
If you are leaving town for the holidays, make sure your home appears occupied. Leave inside
and outside lights on timers and have your neighbors pick up newspapers, mail, and take flyers
off your door. Ask neighbors to park in your driveway. Put a timer on a talk radio station for
several hours a day.
When you're shopping, use the trunk of your car to keep your packages out of sight. Keep your
car locked at all times. Be sure and make several trips to your car to deposit packages in the
trunk. Don't allow yourself to become so burdened down with packages that you become a
tempting target. When walking through parking lots, be sure that you are aware of your
surroundings. Walk with authority. Don't look like a victim!
If you have a garage door opener, do not leave the control openly displayed in your car. Keep
the door leading from your house to your garage locked. Try not to leave your garage door open
at any time.
Be aware that thieves and pickpockets also do some of their biggest business during the holiday
season. Ladies, don't dangle your handbag from your shoulder. You are creating a perfect setup
for a purse snatcher. Instead, keep your purse tucked tightly under your arm. Better yet, don't
even carry a purse. Place your checkbook, cash, or credit cards in your front pockets.
carrying your checkbook, cash, and credit cards all together in one wallet, because if a thief gets
the whole package together, they can cash checks with your identification and run up a large
credit card bill in a short amount of time.
Never give your credit card number over the telephone to anyone when you did not initiate the
call. And be sure that you are dealing with a reputable company when ordering merchandise
over the telephone.
If you go to an automatic teller machine, try to go during the daylight hours. If you must go at
night, pick a machine that is well lighted and visible to passing traffic. If anyone is lurking near
the machine, pass it up and find another.
Just by using a little planning and some good common sense, most holiday crimes can
For additional information contact Laurel Police Department at 301-498-0092.
On behalf of the entire Laurel Police Department and the City of Laurel we wish you a very happy and safe holiday season.
Craig A. Moe Dave Crawford
Mayor Chief of Police
City of Laurel Laurel Police Department