Law enforcement urges extra safety this holiday season

(Stock photo from Unsplash)

The Cullman Police Department and Cullman County Sheriff’s Office shares the importance of security at home and offers safety tips while shopping this holiday season. 

CPD Public Relations Officer Adam Clark said one way to help with small thefts of opportunity is to have your packages delivered to a pick-up location instead of your house or doorstep.

“Make sure you lock your car doors–although it might seem overused to say, it’s necessary,” Clark said. “Always check to make sure that no personal items or cash are left in the vehicle, especially where they are visible to someone who is walking by. While shopping, we encourage women to keep their purses zipped and on your shoulder at all times. Never leave your purse in the shopping cart while you’re not there.” 

Sheriff Matt Gentry and the CCSO would like to remind you to be cautious and vigilant this holiday season to ensure that you have a safe, happy and peaceful holiday!

“While at home, keep your home doors and windows locked at all times,” Gentry said. “If you are leaving for an extended period of time, have neighbors or family members check on your residence and pick up your mail. Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer if possible. Also, leaving on a radio or TV to give the appearance that someone is home is helpful.

We suggest not leaving large displays of holiday gifts visible through the windows and doors of your home.”

Gentry said it’s also important to be aware of when people are visiting your home that you do not know to take caution. 

“Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering packages or gifts and to never open the door if you are uncertain,” Gentry said. “Do not hesitate to call the sheriff’s office/police department if an issue arises. Be skeptical of door-to-door solicitors. Criminals will take advantage of people’s generosity during the holiday season.”

Lastly, Gentry discussed shopping measures to take while driving and/or shopping. 

“Keep your doors and windows locked, whether you are inside or out of your vehicle,” Gentry said. “If you must shop at night, remember where you park, and park in a well-lit area.

Also, pay attention who you are parking beside; avoid vans, camper shells or vehicles with dark tinted windows. Try and park as close as possible to your destination.

Never leave your vehicle running while unoccupied, or with children inside. Have your keys readily available as you approach your car.”

Gentry said it’s very important to always be aware of your surroundings, especially as you are approaching your vehicle and to not approach your vehicle if there are suspicious people loitering around the area.

“Always ask security or store personnel to escort you to the vehicle if you are apprehensive,” Gentry said. “Safety is the most important thing.” 

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