GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer urges holiday shoppers and families to be careful when out and about this holiday season.
“It’s always good to leave your light on or have your neighbors watch your house while you’re gone,” said Boyer. “Statistically our thefts go up this time of year for Christmas time as you get more people out. Your thefts go up and you see more people stealing out of cars. Try to keep your valuables hidden or out of sight.”
Boyer recommended that when folks are out shopping to be aware at all times.
“Keep your purse in sight and don’t leave it in the cart,” said Boyer. “You know, you see people shopping and its in their cart and they’ll turn around to check something out on a shelf. Anybody can grab that purse and take off.”
Boyer said that, unfortunately, the holiday season can make people desperate.
“You still have a drug problem and now you’re putting holidays on top of a drug problem,” Boyer said. “There is extra pressure for addicts to get gifts for their kids or family while they’re also trying to support their drug habit.”
On top of keeping valuables out of view of windows in both the home and vehicles, Boyer recommended that one should always lock doors, windows and vehicles.
“(Offenders) are always looking for an easy entrance, whether they’re just looking for change or whatever,” Boyer said.
Earlier in the year, Gallia authorities investigated upwards of seven vehicle thefts, many attributed in part to drivers simply not locking their doors.
Police in the past have suggested alerting neighbors as well as neighborhood watch groups to be on alert for suspicious activity. In past investigations, authorities have recommended hunting motion detection triggered cameras as a more cost effective method of monitoring homes for potential break-ins. Other theft deterrents include setting lights on a timer, being certain to have mail held so piles of it don’t attract attention, not listing one’s location on social media not leaving home phone ringers active. Leaving a ringer off will prevent thieves from calling a home phone and listening for it outside to see whether it is answered or not.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.