Lauderdale County, Miss. A busy time of year is upon us with preparing for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
It's also typically a busy time of year for criminals in the area. This is why local authorities say it's important to take steps to be prepared.
"The best thing they can do for themselves is plan ahead," Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says. "Be aware of their surroundings. Have a plan of action for what you're going to do, where you're going to go, and while you're there you're paying attention to the parking lots. You're paying attention when you're getting in and out of your car, when you arrive home."
Calhoun says homeowners also need to take a close look at their properties for things that might draw criminals, such as Christmas gifts being visible through windows.
"That you make sure you don't leave objects in your car," Calhoun stresses. "In your backseat, front seat, gifts wrapped, those kinds of things. Because that for an individual who is looking to break into a car, to them that is very tempting. Because in their mind, something of great value is wrapped up on that back seat, wrapped in that present."
Calhoun tells us even if the criminal isn't actually interested in a particular item, it is also possible the bad guy will take it anyway and try to sell it. That's why he says you can never be too careful.
"Think like a bad guy will think," Calhoun encourages. "And try to figure out, okay how can I better protect my property, so that I don't become a victim?"
Calhoun says if you are a victim of crime this holiday season, it is important that you report as much detailed information as possible to the authorities.