Valdosta Daily Times

November 16, 2012

Protecting yourself against seasonal robberies, thefts

Quinten Plummer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — As the chilly air ushers in the holiday season and its familial customs, law-enforcement officers have reminded citizens to stay vigilant in lieu of the traditional spike in property crimes that often blight the festivities.

Citizens reported two armed robberies respectively this past Tuesday and Wednesday, with one case resulting in the victim reportedly being struck in the head at around 6 p.m. Tuesday. In the 100 block of Norman Drive. The blow lacerated the victim’s head and caused significant bleeding, according to reports, but the offenders made off with less than $30 cash.

In the second case, a man was held up at knife point by two other men at around 10 p.m. Wednesday, at a location in the 2000 block of West Hill Avenue. The victim was reportedly unharmed and the offenders netted under $20 in the incident.

So far, there has been at least 15 residential burglaries and three robberies in the City of Valdosta half-way through the month of November, according to reports from the Valdosta Police Department.

So what should citizens do when confronted by a robber or thief? There is no clear-cut answer because each situation is different, said Valdosta Police Lt. Aaron Kirk. One thing to remember is that property can be replaced, a life cannot, said Kirk.

Valdosta Police Officer Vernotis Williams said citizens should step up their vigilance during the holiday season, but warned that people should also keep their guard up year round.

“Citizens should also be cautious when it comes to home and business security during the holiday season, and yearround,” said Williams. “Keep your doors and windows locked. If you have an alarm system, use it. Be aware of your surroundings and if you see something suspicious, report it to the police.”

Williams offers the following tips on how you can stay safe this holiday season:

• Park Smart. Don’t leave your vehicle unlocked and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight inside your vehicle. Take your purchased items home as soon as possible. Most vehicles broken into are thefts of opportunity.

• Stay alert while shopping and be aware of your surroundings.

• Shop with a companion if you must shop at night.

• Don’t leave a purse or wallet unattended. A con artist may try to distract you.

• Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

• Don’t overload yourself with packages.

• Contact the police, if something or someone seems suspicious to you.