Protect last minute gift purchases

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Even though there only a handful of days left until Christmas, there are always last minute gifts to buy. As Pearl River County residents cross off the last people off their lists, local law enforcement agencies advise shoppers to avoid having their valuables and purchases stolen by reducing their visibility. 

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the holiday season brings an increase in burglaries, so he advises residents to be aware and take simple precautions.

Tucker said the best way to avoid your valuables from being stolen from a vehicle is to keep it locked at all times. While shopping at various stores, it might be a good idea to unload some purchases in their vehicle. Tucker said it’s best to keep those items out of sight by storing them in the trunk rather than the back seat. If the vehicle being used to conduct that shopping is an SUV, be sure to  store purchases in the cargo compartment and use the sliding cover to keep valuables out of sight.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Try and park your cars in well lit areas and if you intend on shopping from a mall try to step out periodically to scan over your car. Thieves are looking for opportunities to victimize you,” Tucker said.

Poplarville Police Chief Butch Raby advises shoppers to be aware of their surroundings by avoiding texting while walking.

“When texting while walking, the lack of attention to your surroundings makes you vulnerable to being robbed.” Raby said.

Raby said women should secure handbags on their shoulders at all times, instead of leaving them in the shopping cart. He also advised families to avoid leaving any deliveries where potential thieves could see them, such as porches.