If you see something, say something

By TIM GETER,

“No thief likes being seen doing the crime, so if you can deter them; I encourage you to do so.” These are the words of the Forest Police Chief Will Jones.

Christmas is a joyful and exciting time of the year. Everybody loves to shop and spend time with their family in shopping malls or eating dinner in a restaurant. In doing all this residents are reminded to keep a keen eye on their surroundings.

Shoplifting, car jacking, and any other type of crime is more prevalent during the Christmas holidays because it is known to be the busiest time of the year. In response to this Jones added, “Robberies are subject to increase around the holiday time, however for the past couple of years there has been no significant Increase.”

Remember, “pedestrians always have the right-of-way,” Jones said. “Therefore, while you are casually walking the sidewalks just be receptive of whats happening around you. Make sure you are aware of pick-pocketing. Its better to have a handle on your wallet than someone else having it.” Jones’ statement is very clear, “be aware of your surroundings, and always know that the forest police department reinforces its patrol around the city including parking lots in the forest area.” It is a good reminder to always stay in a well lit area as well. Not only is it good to be aware on the streets it is also good to keep your home safe while you are gone.

Jones emphasized, “neighbors help your neighbors if you see something strange out of the ordinary then say something.” For instance it’s not uncommon to see different vehicles pull into a neighbor’s driveway during the holidays, it could be family or friends just visiting. Do not be afraid of making sure that is the case.

The chief added that we should always help our neighbors by keeping an eye on each other homes. However, it’s not just our neighbors’ responsibility. We should be knowledgeable of the many solutions to keeping our homes safe.  “For example keep shrubs away from windows and lights on and around the house. Keeping a TV or radio on when your away is just one of the few options available. If you have a home alarm system do not forget to turn it on when you leave.”

Jones also said that there are multiple lighting techniques that can be used such as, placing your lights on timers that have multiple settings allowing the lights to come on during different times of the night. Jones also wanted to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

There are many tips to staying safe and preventing crime this holiday season and here are just a few:

• Shop during daylight hours

• Carry the amount of cash needed

• Avoid places that are unfamiliar to you

• When first getting in the car lock the doors

• Look for well lit areas when parking

• Do not leave vehicle unattended

• Carry your wallet and purse securely, never leave purse left in a shopping cart.

• Place gifts where they cannot be seen, maybe under a sheet or other type of obstruction from site of the eye.

• Keep a list of all credit cards, phone numbers for each card in case a card may get stolen.

• Think before you act, people that do this will react more calmly and reasonably if a situation should occur.

•  Be cognizant of  your surroundings while walking to your car

• Remember to unplug your Christmas tree when leaving the house

If you have any information concerning a crime or you see something unusual do not hesitate to call 601-469-4141. If you have any tips about a possible crime call 601-355- TIPS (8477). If you have an emergency call 911. Remember if you see something, say something.