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Tis the season to be thievin’

Experts warn against leaving items in car

 

When the weather gets nippy and the calendar winds down to late November and then December, minds tend to turn to the jolly fat man. Ironton police Chief Jim Carey said while Santa Claus may be the more popular of the two, beware of the grinch that is there all year long but tends to take advantage during the holiday season.

A recent rash of car break-ins prompted an inquiry at Ironton City Council last week. Carey told council yes, there had been some car break-ins and many of the victims had either left their cars unlocked and/or had left valuables inside.

“We’ve seen laptops taken, cell phones, pocket change,” Carey said. “A couple of years ago we had a woman we arrested for breaking into cars and she would make $50, $60 a night from people leaving pocket change in their cars. They (thieves) go in with a flashlight and look and if they see something, they go in.”

Carey urged people not to leave their cars unlocked, regardless of the season, and never to leave anything in plain sight. Valuables should be taken inside the house and locked in the trunk, he said.

As the Christmas shopping season approaches, Carey said he does not recommend shopping alone, especially at night. He cautioned shoppers to be aware of their surroundings.

“And watch how you carry your purse,” Carey said. “Carry it close to your body. And don’t leave it in the buggy.”

Carey said another common thief practice is to work in pairs, with one person distracting the victim by talking to him or her and the other stealing from a purse left in a buggy unattended.

He said shoppers should also be wary of people standing around, lurking near cars or coming up to them in parking lots, common practices of purse snatchers or thieves.