Editorial: Holidays And Theft; Don't Be Surprised

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 28 November 2018 00:47

Managing Editor

With the holiday season upon us, people should begin paying more attention to security. It's very common for law enforcement to see a spike in breaking and entering cases during the holiday season.
Desperate people often steal to provide for their families during the holidays. Others do it to fund their drug habits or other criminal  activities.
The Carolina Beach Police Department investigated a number of vehicle breaking and entering cases in 2016 in the 1500 block of Canal Drive. The majority involved unlocked cars. They still call it breaking and entering largely because there's no polite description for, "Someone left their car unlocked with their valuables in plain sight."
Many times over the years I have written reports about people stealing from vehicles and homes. The police always make the same comment - in frustration - that all people need to do is lock their car doors, install even a basic home alarm system, and not leave valuables out in plain sight.
That’s of course aside from those blatant arrogant criminals that will do anything to steal including breaking, entering, even with people in the home (called home invasion) and generally violating the law with no worries. (The most dangerous).
The typical crime in Carolina Beach and New Hanover County over the years is to simply walk a neighborhood street lifting vehicle door handles. Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of cars left unlocked and packed with all kinds of valuable items just waiting to be stolen.
A simple solution? Lock vehicle doors and don’t leave valuables out in plain sight, or, don’t leave valuables in the vehicle to begin with. Thieves look for firearms under the seat and prescription drugs as well as common items like wallets. Invest in a vehicle alarm system. Park in your garage or install readily available floodlights that shine directly on your driveway. Don't make your home an appealing target, keep gifts away from windows and doors, and lock up every time you leave. If you’re headed out of town, remember to stop delivery of your mail or get someone to pick it up for you to make sure that identity thieves don’t get it. Also, consider setting your lights on an automatic timer to make it look like someone is home.
Shop during daylight hours and don't carry large amounts of cash. Use debit and credit cards which can be canceled with a phone call to the bank.
And report even the smallest theft because it helps authorities identify trends of similar crimes in the community.


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