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Roswell police encourage safe, secure holidays

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The holiday season has arrived and frenzied travel is full-fledged.

The Roswell Police Department offers these suggestions to enjoy festive craze with peace on earth and peace of mind.

On the days homeowners are absent, home safety is essential to plan ahead of time. If possible, have a trusted neighbor or friend keep an eye on your home and pets, if left unattended. Pause any mail collection or other deliveries because a pile of mail is the first sign of an empty home. Install motion sensor indoor and outdoor lights, and have the sound of TV or radio to deter burglars. Removing hiding spots, installing alarm systems, and having a dog are other excellent hindrances.

Homebound holidays safety can be ensured by choices, like only opening garages when entering and exiting. Do not leave anything important, including gifts, in plain sight of the home or vehicles parked outside. Keep all doors and windows locked for optimal safety. After gifts are opened, be cognizant that labeled boxes indicate what is in the home. Especially for boxes of expensive items, place unwanted boxes in recycling bins or the landfill rather than in the city-provided trash receptacle.

For Black Friday and other shopping, awareness of self, personal property, and others is key. Due to high volume, thieves can take advantage of many people. Remember that gifts and additionally identities can be stolen during this time. Try to coordinate shopping during daylight hours. Upon arrival at night, park close to the store and the best lighting possible. Do not leave important documents or anything that could be potentially pilfered. When exiting, have keys at the ready for efficiency and use as a weapon if necessary.

At the store, carry debit and cards directly, and leave the rest at home, not in a vehicle. Carry small cash in front pockets because losses are more likely to occur in back pockets. During transactions, pay attention if the cashier handles the card and cover the keyboard if entering a PIN. Always verify receipts before signing. In addition, expensive jewelry can cause profiling.

If shopping takes place online or over the phone, do not reveal account numbers, financial, or other personal information, unless the shopping or call is initiated by you. Secure shopping sites, indicated by “https,” and passwords, with varied cases and characters, are a must. For charities and other solicitations, research the organization prior to purchasing or donating. Assure the caller correctly represents charity or institution. One can always contact the headquarters directly for a print out donation information if desired. More online safety involves email security. Exercise caution with unrecognized emails.

Be merry and safe.

City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.