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Local Law Enforcement Shares Tips for a Safe Holiday Season

The Vidalia Police Department, Lyons Police Department, and Toombs County Sheriff’s Department are working together to ensure that the public has a safe and happy holiday season and are issuing tips for remaining cautious during this time of the year. When traveling, avoid driving alone, especially at night. Keep all windows and doors closed and locked at all times, while both inside and outside the car. Use your car alarm as an alert at any sign of danger. If you choose to shop at night, park in a well-lit area. Park as close as you can to your destination and be vigilant of your surroundings. Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with darkly tinted windows. To discourage theft, do not leave packages or valuables where they may be seen in your car; these items may be securely and secretly stored in your car trunk or other out of sight places. When walking to your car, have your keys already located and hold tightly to your belongings. If there appear to be suspicious people around your car upon approach, do not walk to your vehicle alone; return to the store and ask a security guard or employee to escort you to your car.

When shopping with children, teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if they are separated from you. Remember to protect your PIN number when entering it anywhere by shielding the keypad from onlookers with your hand. Carry your purse with the opening flap facing against your body; keep wallets inside of pockets. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

Protect your home by keeping doors and windows locked regardless of the amount of time that will be spent outside of the house. If leaving town, have a trusted friend or family member watch over the property. Also, have a designated area out of plain sight for packages to be delivered. Dispose of packaging discreetly, leaving minimal evidence of what was received. When going out for an evening, leave an interior light and radio on, so the house does not seem empty.

During online commerce, use a credit card rather than a debit card because credit cards have purchase protection. Avoid fake email links that scammers use to steal your personal information.

Use these tips, along with normal driving tips – buckle up, don’t text and drive, and drive sober – to have a safe and happy holiday season.

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