Law officers urge caution during busy holiday shopping season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 2, 2000

Local law enforcement officers don’t want any Grinches stealing Christmas this year. So officers are warning residents and shoppers to use extra caution during the holidays.

&uot;We always see the scrooges during the holiday season,&uot;&160;said Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell.

Crime and burglaries tend to increase during this time of year, and Adams County has had cases of people stealing presents from under Christmas trees in past years, Ferrell said.

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To prevent this, residents should not place gifts where they can be seen through a window and should not leave packages visible in their vehicles.

&uot;Don’t encourage the criminal element because they will be watching,&uot; Ferrell said.

&uot;We’re urging extra caution during the holiday season.&uot;

Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff also wants to remind people to be careful during the upcoming weeks.

&uot;There’s a lot of hustle and bustle going on, and we just want everybody to be aware and let us know of anything suspicious going on,&uot; Huff said.

To be safe, shoppers should hide packages in their vehicles and lock their cars regardless of whether they have packages inside or not, Huff said.

They should also park in lighted areas, have their keys ready when the get to their vehicles and shop with a friend if possible, Huff said.

Shoppers should also ask the business for an escort to their vehicle or have someone watch them walk to their vehicle if they feel uncomfortable, he added.

It is also important to do an inventory of household items and Christmas presents, which includes serial numbers and descriptions of the items, Huff said.

That way, &uot;if someone does burglarize the house at least we can get the stuff back (to the rightful owners),&uot; Huff said.

Residents should also lock their doors and inform their neighbors or their Neighborhood Watch group if they plan to be away during Christmas.

And they should report any activity they view as suspicious.

&uot;We’d much rather come out and there not be anything to it,&uot; said Huff, as opposed to not knowing of suspicious activity and having a crime take place.

Officers will be increasing patrols in shopping areas but &uot;we certainly need the help of the public in not being a convenient victim,&uot; Huff said.