Escambia County Sheriff’s Office: Preventing Holiday Crime

December 20, 2011

(Press Release) –PENSACOLA, Fla. – During the Holiday Season, busy shoppers fail to be aware of their surroundings. This can make them easy prey for purse snatchers and street robbers.

  “During the holidays, when we are often busy and in crowds, criminals see opportunities,” warns Sheriff David Morgan, “Don’t give them easy chances to commit crimes. Be safe, lock your vehicle and look after your neighbors.”

    “Neighborhood Watch programs are great at preventing crime all year long. Be aware — even if nothing is wrong, there’s no harm done by reporting suspicious activity.”

 By staying alert and following a few crime prevention tips, you can ensure a holiday season that is happy and safe:

  • Always park in a well-lit and well-traveled area. Do not park in a remote dark area.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. You will be ready to unlock the door and will not be delayed by fumbling and looking for your keys.
  • Be alert that crooks look for the “high dollar” shopping bags with your purchases. When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag
  • Do not leave your purse, wallet, or cellular telephone in plain view. Never place these items in a cart and turn away.
  • Don’t resist if someone tries to take any of your belongings. Don’t chase someone who robs you, they may have a weapon. Instead call 911.
  • Lock your vehicle and put up your windows even while you are driving.
  • If you go to an automatic teller machine for cash, check for people around and make sure it is well lit and in a safe location.
  • Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • If you make a purchase with your credit card, be sure to obtain the carbons or see that they are destroyed in front of you.
  • Drive defensively. Traffic is heavier during the holidays. Drivers may also have indulged in too much holiday spirits.
  • Most importantly, ALWAYS LOCK YOUR VEHICLE


For more information on crime prevention and Neighborhood Watch programs, visit The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office online at

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