Christmas presents and packaging could make you a target for thi - - The News for South Mississippi

Christmas presents and packaging could make you a target for thieves

(Photo source: WLOX) (Photo source: WLOX)

Many people enjoy the tradition of giving and receiving gifts during the holiday season, but this time of year also draws out the crooks and thieves hoping to exploit unsuspecting victims.

Capt. Greg Federico, with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, has some tips for keeping yourself safe and avoiding becoming a target for burglars.

“If you come home, and of course we all know we’re going to have presents and boxes and new computers and new microwaves and all sorts of new toys, that’s what the people who want to prey on you are looking for,” said Federico. “They’re going to drive around and look for what we see outside by the trash pile. Whether we see computer boxes or we see the new game boxes, don’t put them out where they’re visible. If you can, take them to a recycling center, put them in your bags. Close them up, and that way you’re going to be a little less appealing to the bad guy driving around.”

Federico said home is not the only place criminals may strike. The parking lots of crowded shopping centers and stores are also a hot target.

“Don’t go to a mall or to one of the shopping centers and leave all of your presents in the back of the car and then go inside to one store and leave everything visible,” said Federico. “That’s the easy target they’re looking for. When you walk out to your car, unfortunately, we need to walk out in groups. Have your keys ready. Check under your car before you get in it. These are all the things that make you an easy target when you don’t want to be. “

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