ST. GEORGE – The holiday season is typically known as a time of cheer and giving. Yet to the police, it is also known as a time when vehicle and residential burglaries can increase.
“This time of year can be a target-rich environment,” St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said.
“Unfortunately … we have people who take advantage of that,” Hurricane City Police Sgt. Brandon Buell said.
From packed shopping center parking lots to cars parked at home, Despain and Buell said these crimes of opportunity could be easily avoided.
“Don’t leave anything in plain sight (in a car),” Buell said.
Don’t leave a wallet or a laptop on the front seat. for example, he said. Put valuable items in the trunk or cover them up. If a potential thief doesn’t see anything worth taking, they likely won’t take the time to find out.
The police have also often noted that the simple act of keeping car doors locked can be a great deterrent to many would-be thieves.
To help act as a deterrent to vehicle burglaries at shopping centers, the St. George Police’s Mountain Bike Partol is currently patrolling these areas. Despain said their presence has had a positive impact thus far.
Hurricane is doing the same, Buell said. “We always try to increase patrols to prevent the crime,” he said.
As for homes, Despain recommends residents have ample lighting around their homes at night and make sure windows, doors and garage doors are secure and locked. He also said neighbors should alert police if they notice anything they feel is out of the ordinary for the area.
“We get to know what is normal in our neighbors and what’s not,” Despain said. If it’s nothing, then it’s nothing, he said. Better to have police respond to that than to not alert them to potential trouble at all.
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