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How not to become a victim of theft while holiday shopping

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 10:09 PM PST
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - Theft is a crime of opportunity during the holidays and many people want to make sure their homes, cars, valuables, and gifts are safe.

“Christmas is a huge time for giving and receiving and family,” Damon O’Connell, Public Information Officer with the Sparks Police Department said, “Please be safe when shopping, be smart, be vigilant, be on the lookout, and report any type of suspicious activity.”

By following the ‘Hide, Lock, Take’ method, O’Connell said you’re less likely to become a victim of theft. He added, “Hide the items that you have bought, locking your doors, and take your keys and your belongs, your purse or wallet all that stuff, take it with you.”

If you have online gifts heading to your doorstep, having a home security system or a neighbor to bring them inside will decrease the chance of any strangers stealing your items.

“A lot of people are finding out if their places of employment will allow them to deliver packages to your work,” O’Connell said.

Theives are not only keeping an eye on what is being delivered to your home but also what is leaving with the trash.

O’Connell added, “People see those big-screen TV boxes sitting out there, now your house becomes a target, so take that extra time and cut those boxes into pieces so you can fit it into your trash can.”

If you’re going to be away during the holidays, O’Connell also said do not advertise it on social media. Either have someone house sit for you or leave the lights on inside to deter potential burglars.

“They work hard for their money, we want them to be able to appreciate it and be able to provide for people and their loved ones,” O’Connell said.

If your home or vehicle is being burglarized, call 911 immediately. You can also file an online report with the Sparks Police Department.

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