BPS officers talk holiday safety

Published 3:27 pm Friday, November 18, 2016

By Brandon O’Connor


As the countdown to Christmas continues, Bainbridge Public Safety is asking residents to take extra precautions while preparing for the holiday. BPS officers Mark Esquivel, Chris Avery and Nigel Hurst spoke to Georgia Power workers on Tuesday afternoon and provided a list of tips and tricks to stay safe during the Christmas season whether you are out shopping or making sure your gifts are ready to go under the tree.

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“Just letting everybody know about the precautions they need to be taking with Christmas season coming around,” Avery said about the purpose of the presentation. “We were talking about the things that they can be doing to help prevent them from becoming victims of being burglarized.”

Esquivel provided his safety tips for holiday shoppers, many of which he geared towards women.

“Try not to go shopping at night,” Esquivel said. “If you do have to go shopping at night see if you can take somebody with you.”

He also suggested trying to park as close to the store as possible and finding a parking spot in a well lit area, if possible, among the holiday shopping crowd.

“I know it’s hard, but try and avoid carrying a big old purse with you,” Esquivel said. “If you’re not doing a whole lot of shopping maybe just take a couple cards or some cash with you. If you have cash try to carry it in you’re front pocket.”

Esquivel also suggested keeping a list of your credit card numbers in a secure place at home so that in the event of something bad happening you have them as a reference.

Once you leave the store with your new holiday gifts and full shopping bags, the officers recommended covering them with a blanket to hide them if you are going to continue stocking up at other stores.

“Don’t leave your purse, bags, gift bags in the front where people can see it,” Esquivel said. “Be careful of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious report it.”

Holiday safety is just as important at home as it is at the store. Homes are full of brand new gifts and the time is ripe for burglars to do some Christmas shopping of their own. 

“People are always watching,” Avery said. “If you buy a TV or other equipment and you set the box by the side of the road, you’re letting everybody know ‘hey I just purchased this big 55-inch TV.’ Just be aware of things like that when you do make purchases of that big size.”

Avery also suggested having motion sensors on your outdoor lights and leaving either a lamp or TV on when no one is home. Along with your backup list of credit card numbers, the BPS officers recommended keeping a list of serial numbers for different devices in your home. That way if something is stolen, they can identify it if it is later recovered.

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