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VOL. 126 | NO. 236 | Monday, December 5, 2011

Jeremy Park

Simple Tips Prevent Holiday Crime


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Last week, we spotlighted The Soulsville Charter School, which is dedicated to preparing students for success in college and life in an academically rigorous, music-rich environment. This week, with the holiday shopping season in high gear and a focus on preventing the traditional, corresponding rise in crime, let us review some helpful tips to protect your family and friends, as well as your coworkers and businesses.

Thanks again to the Phelps family, which owns Phelps Security and organizes a community action group known as B.I.G. for Memphis (Business Interest Group). The group hosts monthly meetings that bring business leaders together with colonels from the Memphis Police Department for abbreviated Blue C.R.U.S.H. presentations and helpful crime prevention tips. The most recent event offered a plethora of advice related to the holiday season, so I would like to share some of their tips and ask you to please pass these along to everyone you know and love.

The first tip is to lock your car doors and keep your windows rolled up while pumping gas. Ladies, instead of leaving your purse in the passenger seat, hide it or place it under your seat. Thieves are opening car doors and stealing purses while individuals pump gas. They are also working in pairs, so as one distracts you, the other reaches into your car.

The second tip is to hide all belongings before you get to the store or destination. Thieves are watching as you arrive, so if you try to hide your personal artifacts then, it may be too late. Avoid dropping off shopping bags and re-entering stores for the same reason. When exercising at a gym, carry your keys with you instead of leaving them in a locker. Criminals are getting into the lockers, grabbing your keys, clicking the alarm to find your car, then stealing it.

Keep your home well-lit and bushes trimmed near doors and in front of windows. Avoid placing your Christmas tree in front of a window, which showcases presents. If traveling, have neighbors pick up your mail and newspaper. Report any suspicious vehicles to your police precinct.

Keeping your business tidy and clean will help deter crime. Always have two employees open and close your store. Test your alarm and surveillance cameras to make sure they are in working order.

Finally, ladies, if someone does try to grab your purse while walking to your vehicle, throw your purse the opposite direction and run away. Almost always, the thief will go toward the purse, giving you time to flee. Just make sure you have copies of your credit cards at home.

These tips apply to everyone, everywhere – not just in Memphis. I encourage you to help spread the word and let us work together to keep our community safe this holiday season.

Jeremy Park, director of communications at Lipscomb Pitts Insurance and director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at jeremyp@lpinsurance.com.

PROPERTY SALES 57 405 17,384
MORTGAGES 88 428 20,035
BUILDING PERMITS 230 853 35,946
BANKRUPTCIES 55 274 11,164