The Pell City, Talladega and Sylacauga police departments all encourage anyone traveling out of town for the holidays to request extra patrols for their home or business.
“Don’t post on social media that you are going out of town or post your vacation plans,” said Talladega Police Capt. Leon Thomas. “Don’t advertise when you will be away from home—it’s an open invitation for criminals.”
Thomas said if you are planning to go out of town, let a trusted family member or neighbor know to keep watch on your house and request extra patrols.
“If you go out, plan to leave early, take your time and drive carefully,” he said. “Watch out for others.”
Thomas said if you plan to drink, designate a driver.
“It is easier to get someone to take you home or call someone to pick you up than to get a DUI and possibly hurt yourself or someone else,” he said.
Sylacauga Police Chief Chris Carden said while traveling, don’t drive while impaired and/or distracted.
“That includes alcohol, drugs, cell phones and anything else that distracts you from driving,” he said.
Carden said in addition to requesting extra patrols, if you are going out of town let someone you know have access to the residence incase the alarm goes off.
“That way the police are able to check out your residence,” he said.
Carden said after opening Christmas presents, be sure to break down the boxes and dispose of them discretely.
“Don’t stick a box out to advertise your brand new flat screen plasma TV,” he said.
Pell City Police Chief Greg Turley said if you are leaving town, having lights on a timer can be a good deterrent.
“For electronic gifts, the Pell City Police Department has an engraver available for use at the station or that you can check out to put an identifying mark in a nondescript place in case it is stolen,” he said. “That will help us with recovering the item or items.”
Turley said it is also important to check credit card statements and properly dispose of any mail that has personal information on it.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.