Last updated: December 12. 2013 10:51AM - 207 Views
Andy Simmons Staff Writer

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“Tis’ the season to be jolly” is how the old saying goes.

However, nothing can spoil the holidays and put a lump of coal in your stocking more than a Grinch who stole all of your presents.

Crooks are out and about during this time of year, looking to get their holiday fix at the consumer’s expense.

Various law enforcement agencies around Troup County, however, are here to help prevent such thefts from occurring to you or anyone else, by offering some advice on how to exercise holiday safety.

“The best thing people can do is just general safety (such as) locking your car doors while shopping,” Troup County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Stewart Smith said.

Along with locking your car doors while shopping, it’s important that shoppers take precautions on how they purchase these items. Carrying large amounts of cash is not recommended, and paying for purchases using a credit and debit card is strongly encouraged. If cash is the only means of currency available at the time, make sure to carry it in the front pocket.

Smith also encourages those at home to exercise holiday safety to the highest degree.

“Thieves look for opportunities for convenience,” Smith said.

“This can be open doors, windows open.If you’re at home, use exterior lighting. Don’t leave your windows open that expose all of your goods in your house”

Sergeant Marshall McCoy of LaGrange Police also offered some advice to those who have made their holiday purchases already and do certain acts that can expose what they have purchased, such as leaving boxes on the side of the road for pickup by the trash man.

“It sort of makes you a target for a burglary,” McCoy said.

“A new thing that has come about these last couple of years is social media. People are purchasing things and they want to show it on a social media because they’re proud of something they got.They may put it on there for friends and family to see, but a lot of other people are on social media. That’s another way you can be targeted by criminals.”

McCoy also encourages those who have purchased electronic gifts to write down their serial number and keep it them in a secure location, as well as leave a unique mark so that it can be easily identified .

”Without a serial number, it’s very difficult to track and recover property,” McCoy said

The LaGrange Police Department and Troup County Sheriff’s Office offer security checks for both residence and businesses in case someone has to leave town and does not feel comfortable leaving their home or business unattended.

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