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Sandy Springs GA Police Department
Tuesday December 7th, 2010 :: 07:40 p.m. EST


You might think that it won't happen to you simply because it hasn't happened to you--yet. Don't let your guard down this Christmas Holiday. Practice a few simple steps to keeping you, your family, and your newly purchased gifts from falling prey to thieves.

At home: Remember that most burglars and thieves celebrate Christmas early so in the weeks and days before Christmas, remember that your home is a favorable target but only if it looks appealing. Use the alarm, even at night, before you turn in for the evening. Garage thefts are common so keep the garage door shut. A favorite "cat-burglar" tactic is coming into the garage in the wee hours and then checking the door leading to the house from the garage. Many times residents leave it unlocked. Chances are the kitchen counter has a purse on it.

In the car: Take items out of your car that you don't need when shopping. Your laptops and GPS are better left at home if you don't intend to use them on your shopping trip. Hide items in your trunk before you arrive at your shopping destination. Don't pack the car with gifts and then leave for any considerable amount of time. It's worth the extra trip home to unload the gifts.

In the store: Make sure that your purse is in sight and closed. The most common method of theft is the wallet being lifted from the purse. Within an hour, the thief will use the card. If you are using a shopping cart, strap the purse to the cart and keep the purse closed. Better yet, put your driver's license or other I.D. as well as your debit and credit cards, in your front pants pocket. Another reason wallets are stolen is the victim forgets to take it with them after the transaction at the checkout counter. Many times they leave for several minutes before they realize they've left the wallet behind. Be organized when you go to the checkout line. Try not to sit any personal items down on the counter.

On the computer: Counterfeit money and especially money orders are common during the holidays. Refrain from doing long-distance business with unknown persons. This is especially true for those who wish to overpay and request you send the balance to another location for "shipping" or other costs. Money orders are easily counterfeited. Check and double check payment sources before you ship something.

Sandy Springs GA Police Department
7840 Roswell Road
Sandy Springs, GA 30350

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 770-551-6900

David Johns
Community Affairs Unit

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