Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Don't forget to be careful while shopping
A chill is in the air, calendars have reached the last page, Christmas music is blasting over the radio, and stores are filled with people searching for the perfect gifts for their friends and families.
All told, Christmas is normally a time for joy and love, when people spend time with their loved ones, share with those who are less fortunate and exchange gifts.
But in the days leading up to the holidays, residents - particularly those shopping for gifts - should be aware of the rise in vehicle thefts during this season.
In a recent crime prevention tips column, John Turner, an officer with the Victoria Police Department Crime Prevention Unit, reminded readers of the importance of being alert and taking steps to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle theft.
This is an important lesson all shoppers should remember, especially because many of the precautions that can be taken are easy for anyone to do.
In the column, Turner recommends shoppers take action to protect themselves and their items: • Take valuable items out of your vehicle or hide them.
• Always lock your vehicle.
• Park in well-lit areas and avoid parking on streets.
• If you see anything suspicious or see a burglary in progress, call 911.
In addition to these easy steps, shoppers should also remember the message of the Hide Lock Take national crime prevention campaign.
1: Hide your things.
2: Lock your car.
3: Take your keys.
These signs are posted in parking lots across Victoria as a reminder to shoppers of the simple steps that can be taken to deter criminals during this holiday season.
Shopping for the perfect gift is often stressful enough without adding a vehicle burglary to the equation.
As Christmas approaches and we all head to the stores, we encourage our readers to always use their common sense and take the simple, easy steps necessary to deter thieves.
A few seconds of effort could save you hours or days of heartache.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.