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Sheriff's Corner

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By The Staff

If you plan on traveling away to visit love ones please keep these tips in mind. Following a few simple crime prevention tips can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

When considering a hotel, you may look for one that offers security guards that patrol the property and well lit parking lots. Once you have checked in to your room, make sure you know the most direct routes to the elevator, stairs and fire escapes. Always utilize all door locks in your hotel room. If the door has a peephole, use it before automatically opening your door. If someone comes to your door claiming to be a repairman, ask to see their identification and call the front desk to verify their identity. Do not leave valuables in your room; usually the hotel will not be responsible for any theft of your property. If you have valuables use the hotel safe to store your precious belongings. When leaving your room turn on a light, radio or television to make it appear occupied.

Always be aware of your surroundings. Pickpockets work in teams and carefully stalk their victims. Watch for staged distractions like a loud commotion, dropping an object on the ground and asking for assistance and also bumping in to you in large crowds. This can be a precursor to being a victim of the pickpocket's scheme. The thief looks for the purse that is unzipped or the wallet in the back pocket. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and traveler's checks or credit cards can be a safer alternative.

Remember to always lock your doors when inside your car. Avoid leaving any expensive items in plain view because this only entices a thief. Although your vehicle's trunk is not completely secure, it is the safest place to store your valuables while traveling. Avoid all aspects of advertising that you are not from the area.

Taking these precautionary measures will minimize the chances of becoming a victim. During your travels, I want you to have fun and the most important thing is to be safe.