Be aware this holiday season

Every year, the Christmas season brings some wonderful things to our community, such as parades, family togetherness and great food.

But, unfortunately, the holidays also bring a rise in something much less desirable. With the economy the way it is — and has been for years — some people become desperate and may end up doing something they would otherwise never consider.

With so many people tied up with crossing items off their Christmas lists, planning holiday get-togethers and rushing from one appointment to another, they often forget to ensure their belongings are protected.

This presents a perfect opportunity for those who are looking to make a quick buck by stealing the things we’ve all worked hard to obtain.

Every year, local law enforcement officials say they see a significant increase in the number of car break-ins and burglaries, which can put a major damper on the Christmas spirit if it happens to you.

Police offer several tips each year to help keep you safe. First off, be sure to lock your car doors whenever the vehicle is parked. Every week — and not just during the holiday season — local police incident reports are littered with cases of burglars stealing valuable items lying in plain sight in unlocked vehicles.

Every time you exit your vehicle, be sure to double-check to make sure nothing valuable is plainly visible from outside the car.

Also, be sure to always stay aware of your surroundings, especially while out shopping. If a situation doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to call the police and tell them about it. Your information may help them prevent a potential crime, or even solve a case they have been working on.

The same rules also apply to your home. Don’t leave a box containing an enormous flat-screen television sitting next to an open window in your living room.

Many of us are away from our homes during the weekdays, leaving our homes and piles of Christmas gifts susceptible to possible theft if we aren’t careful.

Following these tips can help ensure Christmas stays merry for all of us.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.