How to protect yourself during the holidays - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

How to protect yourself during the holidays

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Many south Georgia police departments are starting to increase patrols in neighborhoods and around shopping centers to protect you better during the holidays.

The holidays are approaching and so are the seasonal thieves. Valdosta Police officers says these next few weeks people need to be more cautious than ever.

"You need to kick up that vigilance, be extra vigilant. Do what's called target hardening, that means make yourself a harder target, don't let yourself be an easy target for the bad guy," said Captain Bobbi McGraw, VPD.

McGraw says with all of the holiday shopping excitement people tend to make themselves more accessible to crooks.

"Know where your car is parked, don't rely on your key fob to find it. It's chirping out there and you're wandering around the parking lot with your bags and purses, that makes you an easy target," said McGraw.

For men, try to carry your wallet in your font pocket.

"Folks can see it, it makes you an easier target, they can grab it and run. If its in your front pocket you have more control over it," said McGraw.

Never keep your shopping bags or anything expensive in you're car where they're visible. Always keep them in your trunk where they're hidden. And if you're going out of town for the holidays, don't let your newspapers pile up in the driveway, ask a neighbor to pick them up.

McGraw says you never want your home to look unoccupied.

"If you have neighbors that have kids that have cars, say 'hey you can use my driveway,' because that makes it look like someone's coming and going if all of your cars are gone while you're out of town."

Of course always keep your doors locked, and have your windows and sliding glass doors secure. And make sure to enjoy the holidays.

Valdosta Police also recommend you join a neighborhood watch group.

If there isn't one in your neighborhood, call your local police department to find out how to start one.

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