Local police advise community on how to stay safe during holidays 

Published 11:35 am Friday, December 2, 2022

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FOOTHILLS––During the holiday season, the potential for car and home break-ins rises. Local law enforcement asks the community to be extra careful this Christmas, and they shared a few tips with the Bulletin on how to protect themselves against theft and fraud.

Sergeant Jamey Shehan of the Landrum Police Department said on average, the LPD receives a couple of car break-ins per holiday season.

“Last year, we had two break-ins,” he said. Nationwide, law enforcement receives far more break-in reports this time of year, mostly around neighborhoods, subdivisions, or cities.

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“Typically, valuables are taken such as firearms, wallets, gifts that people buy for others, electronics, that sort of thing, but thieves will practically steal anything left unsecured if given the chance,” Shehan said.

While theft is up this time of year, local authorities also respond to several fraud reports.

Last year, Americans lost almost $7 billion to fraud, according to research by the FBI. Online shopping and non-delivery scams make up $337 million of the $7 billion.

“ID cards, social security cards, anything that has name and details on it––those things should be locked away and safe,” Shehan said.

Tryon Police Chief Randall Hodge said, “Obviously, when it comes to fraud, definitely know who you’re speaking with. If someone calls you, get a contact number. Be careful about where you use your information online. Be wary about which sites to use as far as entering your card numbers.”

Hodge said that Tryon Police Department responds to around 15-20 car and structure break-ins throughout the year. Around the holidays, however, Hodge says Tryon does not see a spike in thefts.     

“In some areas, the numbers go up during the holidays. It doesn’t change in Tryon that much based on holidays. We are a pretty safe community,” Hodge said.     

Still, he advises everyone to keep their homes and cars locked.    

“Take your keys in the house and lock your doors. Don’t leave obvious bags or packages in your vehicles,” he said.

Hodge also recommends being extra careful when out shopping for the holidays.

“Be vigilant, especially this time of year,” he said.