Friday, December 3, 2010

TOP STORY >> Prevent holiday crime with these tips

By Capt. G. Scott Patton
19th Security Forces Squadron

The winter months aren’t necessarily thought of as a high crime season; however, as many people are finishing their holiday shopping and preparing travel plans, thieves are taking advantage of this time to look for targets of opportunity. Members from the 19th Security Forces Squadron remind Team Little Rock members to remain vigilant and not become complacent during the holiday season. Basic crime prevention techniques can help keep Airmen and their families safe through the holiday season.

“Shoppers should continue to park in well lit parking lots during hours of darkness,” said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Evans, 19th SFS operations superintendent. “Lock your vehicle and make sure the windows are closed. If approached at your vehicle, do not do anything that would put yourself or your family in danger.

“If people are shopping alone and don’t feel safe returning to their vehicle, they should ask an employee or store security member to escort them back,” he added.

Sergeant Evans recommends while out shopping lock valuable items in the trunks of cars and out of view of passersby. He also reminds people to secure their vehicle at home as well, following the same rules as at a store.

“Crime prevention is also important at home,” said Sergeant Evans. “One easy tip is to keep exterior lights on at night along with locking all your doors and windows when not at home. Know your neighborhood and watch for unfamiliar vehicles or people loitering in the area.”

Home security is especially necessary when leaving the home or travelling, according to Sergeant Evans.

“If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, have someone periodically check your house and put a hold on your mail and newspaper or have someone pick them up daily,” he said.

Despite taking every precaution possible, 19th SFS officials warn that people may still become a victim or witness of a crime. To report any suspicious activity or crimes in progress, call the 19th SFS law enforcement desk at 987-3221 or the Crime Stop line at 987-6600. When reporting a crime, have detailed information on subjects or items stolen ready to pass on to law enforcement officials.

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