The holiday season is usually filled with merriment and cheer, but is also accompanied by a slight increase in crime. The Escambia County Sheriff’s office offers tips to prevent crime this holiday season. Deputy Delarian Wiggins says that it is common for people intending to break into a car to check the door handles in store parking lots.
“Some people leave their doors unlocked. That gives them opportunity to come in your car, take high dollar items out of your vehicle. And you may not even know ‘til days later. We’re just asking that people make sure that they lock their doors,” Delarian said.
Wiggins suggests locking purses, electronic items and shopping bags in the trunk.
"With panhandling and everything that’s going on throughout the county, we ask that if you are at a stoplight, just keeping your windows up. You really don’t have to talk to those people. Just keep your windows up and you should be fine,” Delarian said.
Here are some more safety tips from the ECSO:
- Park in a well lit area
- Stay alert to your surroundings and people around you
- Keep keys in hand when approaching your vehicle, to be ready to unlock the door and not spend time looking for keys
- Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash
- Go to ATMS that are in well-lit and safe locations
Escambia County also offers a crime mapping system on its website that allows users to check listings of recent crimes throughout the county, from petty thefts and citations to homicide. That information is available by searching Escambia County zip codes at crimereports.com.
Katya Ivanov, WUWF News