KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – According to experts, there’s an increase in robbery and personal larceny during the holiday season. These crimes increase by approximately 20 percent during the last month of the year, which is why law enforcement is offering safety tips.

Kinton’s interim police chief, Keith Goyette said Kinston police want to make sure visitiors and residents who are out and about are aware of these safety tips.

“Park in well-lit areas, make sure when you’re walking from the store to your car, you have your keys in your hand. As you get in your car, go ahead and lock those doors and just utilize safe measures to keep yourself safe,” said Goyette.

Experts suggest the reason behind an increase in crime around the holidays are related to desperation. For those who are expecting a package but may not be home, Goyette said to reach out to your neighbor to see if they can help out and get the delivery inside as quick as possible.

He also recommended this option.

“You can go online to the post office [website] and you can fill out a form, you’ll know daily where your mail is going and what’s going to come in the mail. And I would encourage you to go ahead and utilize that resource as well. And just if something does happen, if somebody does steal your package, contact the police department or the sheriff’s office depending on where you live,” said Goyette.

Goyette said in Kinston, more police presence will be noticeable during December.

“So we’re doing everything, everything in our constitutional power to make sure our citizens are safe. And we’re just asking our residents to be to be aware of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious, please contact 911 Call the police department and we’re going to be out in full force, we’re gonna have our officers in on our sentinels, which is our non-sworn civilian force we’re going to be in the shopping centers day and night,” said Goyette.

With the safety tips in mind, Goyette said to stay vigilant and support local.