The holiday season is upon us, and crime is not taking a vacation. Actually, certain crimes will increase this time of year.
Some of these are crimes of opportunity in which we actually assist in fostering the crime by not being mindful of our actions.
When shopping, dining, traveling or staying home this season, we should all take the time to ensure that we do not give any criminal the opportunity to steal what is ours. We all know what we should do and we need to remain vigilant. We all need to take those steps to prevent the crime from occurring.
Never leave valuable items in your vehicle or the chargers and cords for those items. Criminals are no different from any other window shopper, except they see our houses and cars as their stores. The following is a list of items stolen from vehicles in Galveston in the last four days: Four car stereos, three GPS devices, two laptop computers, two backpacks, one air compressor, one Nintendo and a 1-gallon jar of coins.
With the exception of three of the stereos (one had a detachable face plate), all of this property still could be in possession of the owners. If we want to keep it, we need to secure it. While placing items in the trunk may seem a viable option, most vehicles have trunk releases in the passenger compartments. If you are going to place valuables in the trunk, make sure you disable these devices.
We all love to decorate our houses this time of year and even put the Christmas tree in the front window. Most of us will drive around for hours to look at the great displays, but others are looking for what they can steal. A Christmas tree surrounded by a pile of gifts is a wonderful sight, but it also is an opportunity for a criminal.
After Christmas when all of the gifts have been opened, be mindful of what you put on the curb for pickup. Once again, boxes with the names of what was once inside tell the criminal what you have. Cut up the boxes so they fit inside the trash can.
Remember to always lock your doors, be mindful of your surroundings, do not leave valuables in plain sight and never leave a purse, wallet or cell phone unattended. It takes time, but once again, we all need to remain vigilant to keep the Grinch from stealing Christmas.
Capt. Jeff Heyse is public information officer for the Galveston Police Department.