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SCSO offers tips for holiday season


  While the holiday season is a special time of year, busy people can become distracted and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell wants everyone to have a secure and happy holiday season by taking a minute from the rush to read and apply the following holiday crime prevention tips:

  Shopping - If you are holiday shopping at night, park your vehicle in a well-lighted area. Do not park next to vans or cars with tinted windows. Be aware of your surroundings when approaching your vehicle. If something or someone seems suspicious, do not approach your car and alert a security agent. Never leave your car running while it is unoccupied. Don't leave packages or other valuable on the seat of your vehicle where they are clearly visible. 

  While shopping, teach children to ask for help from a store clerk, security or police officer if they get separated from you. Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them. 

  Keep an updated record of all your credit card numbers at home so you can quickly report them if they are lost or stolen. Notify the credit card issuer immediately if a credit card is lost, stolen, or misused.

  Always remember to get your receipt after you have made a purchase and do not give your credit card number out to anyone. 

  Deliveries - Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts. Watch for criminals trying to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting charitable donations. Ask for identification and find out how the donation will be used. If you are not satisfied with the answers, do not donate.

  Parties - When attending a holiday party where alcohol will be present, know your safe limit and never drink and drive. Always keep drinks in view to prevent someone from putting something in the drink.

  Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains the number 1 cause of fatal traffic crashes in Arkansas and across our nation. Please use a designated driver, a cab or public transportation should you consume anything that may impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

  Home - Always lock your home, leave a light on a timer and have a neighbor retrieve your mail when you will be away from home. Always remove valuables from the inside of your parked car and keep the car locked, no matter where it is parked.

  Keep a watchful eye on your neighborhood. Should you hear or observe anything suspicious, call 911 immediately and an officer will respond.

  Cassell is asking all Searcy County residents to join in our shared responsibilities to prevent accidents and crimes. "The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. We can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors. The Searcy County Sheriff's Police Department wishes you and your family a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season," Cassell said.

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