How to Keep Your Neighborhood Safe During the Holidays

Santa riding in the sleigh during Rocky Mount Christmas Parade.

While there are a lot of people who wish everyone warmth and good wishes over the holidays, there are quite a few Grinches out there as well. Just like the Grinch, they are out to steal Christmas—or at least Christmas gifts.

From thieves who keep an eye out for Amazon deliveries that arrive at your doorstep to those who sabotage or steal holiday lights, it’s important to do what you can to continue to fight Rocky Mount crime. 

With help from the National Neighborhood Watch, we’ve compiled a useful list of tips to help you enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

Use Common Sense While Shopping

This means keeping valuable items in your trunk or out of sight. Also, be aware of your surroundings and never wear flashy, expensive jewelry that draws attention to yourself. We’ve written an earlier, informative article about how to remain safe when shopping.

Keep Your Home Secure

Take advantage of any secondary locks such as window pins and deadbolts. It should also go without saying that you should never hide spare keys under doormats, planters or in mailboxes. It’s not safe—in many cases, it’s the first place that criminals look!

You should also ensure that there is adequate outdoor lighting and that foliage has been trimmed. Too much overgrowth creates a perfect hiding spot for criminals.

Be Aware of Windows and Mailboxes

While there’s nothing like seeing a beautiful Christmas tree in the window, make sure the gifts themselves cannot be viewed from the outside. If you are mailing gift cards or checks, be sure to send them from a post office collection box. It’s far too easy for crooks to pull them out of your regular mailbox.

Of course, often the safest place for valuables may not be in your home at all. For example, if you have expensive jewelry that you rarely wear, this would be better secured in a safe deposit box.

Be Wary of Strangers at Your Door

Rocky Mount is full of generous and caring people, but sometimes, thieves take advantage of that during the holidays. Always be careful when you see someone at your door that you don’t know, and don’t be afraid to ask for identification. 

Take Precautions When Going Out of Town

You should use some of the same precautions you’d use if leaving home for a vacation.

Consider asking a trusted neighbor or friend to watch your home. Be sure to halt mail and newspaper delivery (or have your trusted friend pick it up for you). If you have timers for your lights and radios, be sure to utilize them.

Likewise, be a good citizen and report any suspicious activity that may be happening at your neighbor’s home when they are out of town. 

Protect Your Packages  from Thieves

That large Amazon package in front of your door is very tempting to a lot of people who may see the brown box waiting for you to come home. Here are some ways to protect your orders:

  • Have the packages delivered to you at work or to a P.O. box.
  • Utilize security cameras.
  • Talk to your neighbors! Start a Neighborhood Watch group so you can keep an eye out for any potential problems.
  • Leave specific drop off instructions for the one delivering packages---perhaps instruct them to leave it with a neighbor who has agreed to receive it for you. 

Don’t Lose Diligence After the Holidays

When the last present is unwrapped, that doesn’t mean that your precautionary period is over. Remember that thieves love to look for large boxes left in garbage cans because it gives them a hint at what treasures are inside the house. 

Be sure to record your new gifts, taking note of serial numbers, the make and model. Take photos of the items. You may even consider engraving the item in order to make it easier to discover if it is stolen.

Rocky Mount Citizens and Police Work Together to Reduce the Rocky Mount Crime Rate

Our team of law enforcement officials are dedicated to serving and protecting our citizens. If you’d like to learn more about police/community initiatives, check out our earlier articles:

Rocky Mount, NC Police Complete Fair and Impartial Police Training to Help Reduce Crime

How the Rocky Mount Nextdoor Program Can Help You Fight Crime in Your Neighborhood

How Can You Fight Crime in Rocky Mount?

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