12/20/13 — Police Department offers safety tips for the holiday season

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Police Department offers safety tips for the holiday season

By John Joyce
Published in News on December 20, 2013 1:46 PM

Cpl. Marissa Davis and the Goldsboro Police Department would like to wish the city of Goldsboro and Wayne County a Merry Christmas and happy-yet-safe holiday season.

Cpl. Davis, of the Crime Prevention Unit, offers these safety tips to holiday travelers and shoppers.

* Do not make yourself an easy target -- "If you are going to be out shopping, go in pairs and do not overload yourself with bags," she said. "Instead, make several trips to the car and store items securely and out of sight, either in the trunk or in the back of your vehicle, covered up."

* Be aware -- "Tell your neighbors when you are going out of town, and if you are staying put, offer to watch the houses of those who leave," she said. "Keep lights or a radio on a timer and have someone come by and check the mail/newspaper delivery boxes. Letters or papers piling up is a sure sign that someone is out of town."

* Keep hedges trimmed back -- "A bush should look like a bush. Overgrown bushes and hedges make it easy for crooks to hide out and peek in to see what valuables are in the home. Cut them back and keep valuables out of sight," she said. "This will also keep things visible for neighbors and patrol officers passing by."

* Write down serial numbers -- "Write down the serial number, make and model of all new electronics purchases. It is so much easier for police officers to identify and return stolen property if we can trace those numbers," she said. "If your items are stolen and we have those numbers, when we stop somebody or search the pawn shops we can check the system and know right away it is your stuff they have."

Cpl. Davis said that the best defense against a home or vehicle break-in is to be proactive. A crime prevention video is available online at www.ci.goldsboro.nc.us.

The last tip from GPD Crime Prevention is that none of the safety tips are strictly seasonal. Anytime anyone sees something they feel is suspicious, day or night, weekend or holiday, call 911 immediately.

"If you're not sure, call. If you think you should alert your neighbors, call. If the hairs on your arm stand up, call," Cpl. Davis said. "We'd rather you call and find out you did not need us, than not call and find out you do."