Tips to keep you safe from theft

We continue our coverage on how to keep yourself from becoming a victim
WTAP News @ 5
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 4:19 PM EST
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As officials say they see an increase in crime and theft around this time of year, we continue our coverage on how to keep yourself from becoming a victim.

Officials with both Wood County and Washington County Sheriff’s Departments say they see increased crime and theft around this time.

Sergeant Derek Cross with the Wood County Sheriff’s Department reminds to lock all doors and windows and recommends alarm systems and cameras as they become more affordable.

If you do decide to use a camera, Sgt. Cross says to put them in a location that can get a picture of someone’s face.

“When it comes to setting up cameras we like for them to be like the doorbell cameras or something at a lower height. A lot of people like to put them on a second floor facing down and those are very hard to see the faces.”

And if you are planning a new year trip, wait to post on social media.

“A big issue we realize is people like to share their vacation plans on social media. That’s a terrible idea. If you want to post photos when you get home that’s fantastic, but don’t post them while they’re happening. Don’t let everyone know you’re out of town.”

Sgt. Cross suggests keeping a log of serial numbers for expensive items like power tools, televisions, and firearms to help track down those items if they are stolen. If you are planning to go out of town, have someone stop by your house to. Cross says porch pirates are still an issue to be aware of.

“...if you have a trusted neighbor let them know, or a family member that can check on your house, keep lights on, that kind of thing to make it look like your house is occupied...they can keep an eye out for packages if you’re not going to be home.”

Washington County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant William Johnson says to be aware of your surroundings and what is normal for your area.

“If you see something that’s out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to give us a call.”

And if you do become the target of a theft, Sgt. Cross and Sgt. Johnson say call 911 immediately

“A lot of times people will pawn those items very quickly, so as soon as we can get ahead of that, the better,” says Sgt. Cross.