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HPD: Don't let thieves ruin your holidays

By Staff
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Police are urging residents to take extra care in securing their personal property this holiday season.
Lt. Tom Sparks said it is not uncommon for crime to increase during the holidays, but recent thefts in the area serve as a reminder to always secure items of value outside of your home and inside of your car.
"Due to recent thefts in the area, please pay extra attention to how you secure your property," Sparks warned. "Sometimes people tend to ignore the obvious and probably wouldn't think twice about two guys loading up their neighbor's four-wheeler at 10 a.m. in broad daylight. Don't leave anything of value exposed in your yard. These days nothing is secure with just a lock or a chain"
Sparks said when advertising items for sale at your home, such as boats, four-wheelers, and motorcycles, never place the items on a trailer in your yard, especially with an exposed trailer hitch.
"The best way to sell items like these is to run an ad in the paper and keep it locked in a secure garage or outbuilding until the potential buyer comes to view it," Sparks urged. "If you have these items sitting in your yard, on a trailer or chained to a tree, it takes about two seconds for someone to be gone with it, day or night. The same goes for bicycles. Keep anything of value locked up and out of sight."
With the holiday shopping rush comes the increase of car burglaries, Sparks added.
"The most important thing you can do to keep your car from being broken into is to make your car unattractive to a thief," Sparks said. "Keep anything of value out of sight. Put packages, purses, CDs, wallets, cell phones and money in the trunk or completely hidden."
According to Sparks, the biggest mistake most shoppers make during the holidays is to leave valuables visible in their cars during quick errands.
"Thieves take advantage of people who just run into a store real quick for a roll of wrapping paper and leave their packages and purses in the car," Sparks said. "Don't make that mistake."
And for personal safety this holiday shopping season, Sparks said to use common sense. Park in well lit areas close to activity and always keep your money and purse secure.
"If you take your purse inside, keep it closed completely, and hold it securely to your body," Sparks said. "Never leave a purse unattended in a shopping cart or on a counter, even for a second. Thieves take advantage of these situations at every opportunity."
To report incidents of theft or burglary, call HPD at 773-6534.