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Tis the season for more than holiday cheer
Richmond Hill Police Department officers John Zirpolo (left) and Lee Rodriguez check out a residence Friday while the owners were out of town over the Thanksgiving holiday. Rodriguez said these particular residents boarded up their back windows because their home was burglarized Wednesday.

Holiday cheer isn’t the only thing on the rise as the holidays approach. Local police are trying to spread the word to take precautions for various crimes that seem to occur this time of year.

"Traditionally, we look to see a lot more property crimes and crimes against persons as people try to steal for the holidays," Richmond Hill Police Department Major Mike Albritton said. "We’ll most likely see a lot more entering autos, burglaries and armed robberies as we get closer to Christmas."

Whether leaving to go out of town or doing some holiday shopping at area malls, Albritton advises residents to have a heightened sense of awareness over the holiday season to protect themselves and their property.

The following is taken from a press release sent by RHPD Cpl. Susan Willis, offering holiday safety tips:

- Do not leave your personal property, such as electronics or handbags, visible inside your vehicle. Theft of automobile contents is very common and is not limited to the evening hours. In fact, a growing number are committed during the day when the owner of the vehicle is in close proximity. Always lock your vehicle. Try to remove department store shopping bags from your vehicle or make sure they are not visible.

- Park in well lit areas while shopping. Have your keys in hand prior to leaving a store. Whenever possible, leave in groups. Most malls have security, so, if you feel uneasy, request an escort to your vehicle.

- Internet and telephone scams are becoming increasingly more common. The best rule to follow is if it seems too good to be true, it’s likely a scam. Never give personal information over the telephone.

- If you plan to leave for the holiday, let a trusted neighbor know your schedule and leave your emergency contact information with that person. Leave selected lights on in your residence. Notify the mail carrier to hold your mail and do the same for your newspaper.

-Read more in the Bryan County News.

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