Staying safe this holiday season: LPD offers Christmas shopping, traveling tips

Published 6:28 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018

With the holiday season underway, the LaGrange Police Department is reminding residents of shopping safety tips to prevent car and home break-ins and thefts. LPD Sgt. Marshall McCoy said to prevent entering autos, residents should keep their cars locked and valuables hidden from view. 

McCoy said a lot of entering autos happen because valuables are left in plain sight in the vehicle. McCoy said if suspects don’t see anything, they move on to the next car.

“Make sure that if you’re going to leave your purse in your car that you leave it maybe in the trunk or you put it out of sight,” McCoy said. “And the same way when you purchase packages and your items at the store, make sure that you leave them out of sight.”

McCoy said expensive items should also be taken inside after being bought.

For items bought online, McCoy said residents should ship the packages to a safe spot where they can be picked up. 

“Something that’s been growing is during the holiday season is people seeing packages on the front porch and then stealing them,” McCoy said. 

For home safety while traveling, McCoy said residents should leave their lights on or use a light timer to make it look like they are home. McCoy said LaGrange residents can also request for the LPD to have officers keep check that their doors are locked while they’re gone.

“If you have a good relationship with your neighbor, then let your neighbor know ‘hey I’ll be gone from this time to this time. This is what should be normal at my house,’” McCoy said. 

“Your neighbor will probably know, and if you see anything suspicious, then notify 911.”

McCoy said residents traveling should also not post on social media that they are going on vacation.

“It is still recommended that you don’t post on social media ‘hey fixin’ to leave for the holidays, I’ll be gone for two weeks. See y’all when I get back from my beach vacation,” McCoy said. “Because you’re letting everyone you know out of town.”

After Christmas, boxes from valuable items should not be left out for garbage collection because it can alert people what new items you have.

McCoy said residents should ultimately be aware of their surroundings and report suspicions.

“What may not mean a whole lot to you could be something important,” McCoy said. “In my mind, if it’s enough to make you question it, then it certainly doesn’t hurt to call and ask about it.”

Both the LPD and Troup County Sheriff’s Office can be used as meet up locations.

LaGrange residents can schedule a home check by calling the LPD at (706) 883-2603. Residents of unincorporated parts of Troup County can call the TCSO at (706) 883-1616. 

Residents of Hogansville can visit the Hogansville Police Department at 117 Lincoln Street in Hogansville and fill out a form.