Protecting property during holiday season

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NESHOBA COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Burglars and thieves are out this holiday season. Neshoba County Sheriff's Department is encouraging people to protect their property so these criminals are left empty-handed.

"We've had cases here during the holiday season where the burglars would actually break into the homes and steal the Christmas presents under the tree," says Neshoba County Sheriff Tommy Waddell.

Don't let thieves ruin your Christmas. Make sure all your doors and windows are locked.

"Leave your lights on and maybe a TV or radio, anything that will make a noise where someone that is casing out the home will think someone is inside the home," says Waddell.

Burglars are looking for an easy opportunity, whether it's breaking into your house or car.

"People are walking by looking into vehicles," says Waddell.

It's as easy as locking your door or car to deter these criminals.

The sheriff's department says never leave anything in plain sight; put valuables in the trunk and lock it.

"A lot of times when a crime has happened, it's a crime of opportunity," says Waddell.

That means in most cases it could have been prevented. And if you're out shopping and have a lot of gifts in your car, be aware of your surroundings.

"If something doesn't look right, it's probably not," says Waddell.

If someone suspicious walks up to you, get in your car quickly and lock the doors. If you see something suspicious, don't approach that person. Call it in.

"Get as much information and description as you can," says Waddell. "If you can do it without putting yourself in danger, a tag number is a great help."

To report suspicious activity, call 911. If you have any information about possible burglaries or break ins, you may call East Mississippi Crimestoppers at 855-485-TIPS.