Five common holiday crimes

Published 9:14 pm Monday, November 6, 2017

Most police officers will tell you that crime rates tend to increase in the months of November and December.   

Why? It is the holiday season. Leaving town, increased shopping and many other things contribute to this increase. Knowing about the common holiday crimes might be enough to prevent becoming a victim.

DUI — This has to be number one. The holidays are either festive or depressing. Both scenarios lead to higher rates of drinking and DUIs. Law enforcement officers are keenly aware of this. During this time, patrols routes are increased and roadblocks are implemented more frequently. As I have suggested many times in the past, being arrested for DUI is 100 percent avoidable. Designated drivers, taxis and walking are good ideas. 

Shoplifting — When the masses are out shopping, businesses and customers need to remain vigilant as crowded retail establishments tend to see more arrests for shoplifting. Shoppers need to remain alert about their own personal belongings. Businesses usually keep a close watch on shoppers.

Entering Auto — Vehicle break-ins happen much more frequently during the holiday season because uninvited strangers expect to find gifts in cars. This happens most frequently near shopping centers. The simple solution is just to lock your door, which I need to get into the habit of doing myself. 

Home InvasionKeep your house locked at night and, if you can legally possess firearms, purchase some and safely secure them in your home. If you are going out of town,  nail a couple of posted signs on trees that warn the property is under surveillance by trail cameras that we deer hunters use. They are very easy to use and you may get a picture of a trespasser.

Family Violence — With the increased alcohol consumption and many other factors, the holidays can become a war zone in the home. The dynamics in a home are complicated. But, easing off the alcohol and speaking with close friends has somewhat helped in the past.

I hope that pointing out these criminal acts will decrease the number of victims and save lives on the highway. 

Have a safe Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

Jason W. Swindle Sr. is a Senior Partner and Criminal Defense Attorney at Swindle Law Group in Carrollton.