Holiday Safety Tips from the Athens Clarke County Police Department

You can call the Crime Prevention Unit if you are going out of town.


The holiday season is upon us. Shoppers will be out and about looking for bargains, the perfect gift, or selecting items for the perfect dinner. Unfortunately, thieves will also be active.

Chief Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr., reminds you to be aware of the following tips to help make your holiday season safer.

While shopping, make sure your wallet or purse is secure. Keep your wallet in an inside jacket pocket if possible. Keep your purse closed so your wallet is not visible. Do not leave the purse unattended (i.e. in a shopping cart or a dressing room) – even for a few seconds.

Purchased items should be placed in the trunk of your vehicle or covered in the back. Such items should be removed from the vehicle as soon as possible for thieves do follow shoppers and enter their vehicles.

Be aware of subjects loitering in parking lots. Try to park in well lighted areas. Make sure you have your keys in hand before getting to your vehicle; lock the doors upon entering. If loading packages, watch for subjects approaching who may snatch your purse or keys. If you see someone near your vehicle wait until they leave before you approach. Lock the vehicle. If you leave valuables (iPods, lap tops, purses, etc) in the vehicle, place them out of sight.

Most residential burglaries occur during the daytime hours. If you see suspicious persons or vehicles in your neighborhood, call the police to check them out.

If you leave for the holidays, make sure your residence is secure and gives the appearance of occupancy. Put lights on timers, have someone pick up the mail and newspapers. Know your neighbors and have a trusted neighbor watch your property.

You may call the ACCPD Crime Prevention Unit (706-613-3358 X235 or X231) to have a “house check” placed on your residence (officers will ride by as call volume permits). Record serial numbers of electronics; if they are stolen you will have a better chance of getting them back if they are recovered.

If at all possible, do not walk in dark, unpopulated areas. Do not accept rides from strangers. Do not drink and drive. If you do drink, have a designated driver.

When driving, always wear your seatbelt; make sure your passengers are buckled up too. ACCPD officers, as well as other law enforcement agencies, will be out in force to keep our communities safe.

Help us help you have a safe holiday season.


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