From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville Police Department is working to ensure the safety of residents during the Christmas holiday.
For those planning to go out of town, there are several things to consider. Officers with Trussville PD are available to offer extra patrols around homes that will be vacant during the holidays. Anyone can request security checks by calling (205) 655-2101.
“They can tell us what vehicles should be there and we will ride by and look,” said Police Chief Eric Rush. “If they see anything suspicious like a broken window, a door open or a car that doesn’t belong, they will get out and investigate.”
Also, police say it is important to make it look like you are at home. You can place timers on lights but don’t leave an outside light on while you’re gone Rush said.
“If you have your lights on during the day, that’s a good indicator that you’re gone,” Rush explained. “Floodlights are good at night but if they’re not on some sort of timer or motion sensor, that’s a dead giveaway.”
If you trust your neighbors, you can tell them you are leaving so they can help lookout while you’re gone.
Before you leave your home, document the make/model and serial numbers of your property.
Rush said it is important to remember not to announce you are away on social media.
“Wait until you return to post those fabulous family holiday pictures,” he said. “It’s easy to forget when you’re enjoying good times with family that thieves may be watching what you post.”
Porch thefts are another concern during the holidays. Rush said with an increased amount of packages being shipped during the holidays, there is an increased risk for crime.
“Shopping online is very common so when the package is delivered it is an easy target for thieves,” Rush said. “It’s important for neighbors to look out for each other and if you see something, say something.”
Rush said surveillance cameras can be helpful for investigators and can deter criminals.
To protect your packages, you can schedule deliveries for times you will be home or have them delivered to a friend’s house. You can also request to pick up your packages from the carrier facility. Check with your carrier for more information.
After the gifts are open and you are left with boxes to throw out, it is still important to be aware of criminals. If you have boxes showing what gifts are inside your home, you could become a target.
“Don’t be so quick to leave that 70-inch, flat-screen TV box by the road,” Rush added. “You are just advertising to criminals that you have a brand new TV.”
The Trussville Police Department will have extra patrols during the holidays to help keep the community safe.