GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) The holidays are supposed to be a time of happiness and cheer, but sometimes criminals can quickly spoil that.
Greenville officers call them crimes of opportunity. It happens when a thief sees you as an easy target. They say those crimes increase around this time of year.
Crooks try to take gifts you’ve bought for other people. Greenville Police tell 9 On Your Side they see car break-ins and armed robberies pick up this time of year. They say people leaving their vehicles unlocked make those crimes easier. Thieves will test to see if your door or trunk latches are unlocked. Officers are encouraging everyone to make sure their doors are locked as you go in and out of stores and home.
“Your work hard for your money and these are hard-earned gifts that you may have this time of year and it impacts all of us. It affects our quality of life and I think that any little step that we can take to reduce the risk of you being a victim we should be taking those,” said Kristen Hunter, Greenville Police Department.
There are other ways to protect yourself:
- Keep your purchases and valuables out of sight… Taking away the temptation for thieves.
- Shop during the day when you can.
- At home, don’t leave holiday gifts where people can see them through your windows.
- After all the gifts are opened, keep any wrapping or broken-down boxes inside until your regular garbage pick-up. Some thieves look inside home dumpsters to see what you may have in your home.
On a positive note, police tell 9 On Your Side they’re not seeing an uptick in package theft or property crimes. They credit that to more people staying at home in the pandemic.