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Crime Stoppers: RPSO shares tips to avoid Christmas smash-and-grabs, porch pirates

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:10 PM CST
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Before you head to the mall for a little Black Friday shopping or place a big Amazon order, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office has a few safety tips for you.

‘Tis the season for smash-and-grabs and porch pirates. The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking you to take a few extra steps to make sure you don’t fall victim to stolen presents and packages.

“It’s the season, but you’ve got those criminals out there that are looking for something to get into,” said Sheriff Mark Wood.

That’s why it’s time for your annual reminder to take a few extra steps to make sure you don’t fall victim.

First, pay attention.

“It goes back to the old thing of paying attention to your surroundings when you are walking to your vehicle with your packages or going into the store,” said Sheriff Wood. “Always be looking around you.”

Don’t leave your presents in plain sight.

“If you shop all day, make sure your packages are hidden,” said Sheriff Wood. “Don’t just put them in the backseat where somebody can see them and do a smash and grab, knock your window out, grab your stuff and take off. We’ll get a lot of that during the holidays.”

If you prefer to order your presents online, don’t let them sit on your front porch all day. Try having them delivered to work.

“That’s going to happen, because now a lot of shopping is off the internet. UPS or whoever drops those things off. We get calls about vehicles, suspicious vehicles going through areas and neighborhoods. That’s what they’re doing. They’re looking for that,” said Sheriff Wood.

If you have information on holiday crime like a break-in or a theft, you can always call Crime Stoppers at 443-STOP to report your tip anonymously. Your tip that leads to an arrest or indictment could lead to a reward of up to $2,500.

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