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BPS offers tips to stay safe during holidays

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, safety precautions are often forgotten and can lead to burglaries and other suspicious activities. Bainbridge Public Safety Investigator Mark Esquivel is giving some tips to residents to make sure this holiday season is a safe and fun one.

Esquivel first discusses the precautions to take when shopping. He suggests women not take a large purse or bag into the mall or store, but only the necessities. He encourages them to only take their checkbook, wallet or credit/debit card. When entering the store, he reminds everyone to not leave their valuables in plain sight, but to hide them possibly in the trunk instead. He also asks that people not shop alone at night.

“Be aware of your surroundings,” Esquivel said. “If you see a suspicious person when walking out to your car, wait or ask a store associate to walk you out.”

Those who are planning to leave for the holidays Esquivel asks to not post photos of them out of town or a status saying they are out of town. He also said it is best not to post photos of the Christmas tree with lots of gifts under it. When leaving town or the house, leave the lights on inside to look like someone is home or turn on the outside safety lights.

Bainbridge Public Safety does their best to patrol every neighborhood, but people who are going out of town can contact the police department and ask for extra patrol. Esquivel insists that is what they are there for and people do that even when it’s not the holidays.

If Bainbridge Public Safety is not in the neighborhood and someone notices a suspicious vehicle, he also encourages them to feel free to call the police, even if it turns out to be nothing it’s better to be aware. Esquivel realizes most people know the vehicles that travel their street every day, so if an unfamiliar vehicle is on the streets to pay special attention to it.

His last suggestion is to be careful who is hired this season. A lot of individuals will go door-to-door asking for work in order to buy Christmas presents for their family, and while the plea may seem genuine these individuals become aware of schedules, where things are put and where all the doors are located.

Esquivel hopes these reminders will cause for less theft and bring about safe holidays.