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Holiday Safety Tips from North Briarcliff

It was a down week for crime, but it may not stay that way. Here are some tips.

Crime over the last weeked seemed relatively down across most of the North Druid Hills-Briarcliff area. A few isolated car break-ins and whatnot, but fewer than is ordinary. (There was an armed robbery near Shamrock Plaza on Lawrenceville Highway on Sunday, and I'll try to get to the bottom of that Monday.)

Still, it's a different kind of crime that hits the area when the holidays roll around, and our friends at the North Briarcliff Civic Association sent out a few tips to their residents, and I thought I'd pass them along:

LEAVING TOWN

1. ALERT your block neighbors if you're leaving on vacation. Ask them to pick up your newspaper and mail (or stop them online). You can also ask them to check out your backyard or house occasionally to make sure everything is alright. Tell your neighbors to call 911 asap if they do see anything suspicious.

2. LIGHTS ON: Leave indoor and outdoor lights on an electric timer and leave a radio on so your house appears occupied.

SHOPPING

1. BE CAUTIOUS: Watch what’s going on around you and report any suspicious behavior to the police and/or if you’re at a mall, call mall security.

2. WOMEN – SECURE YOUR PURSE: Whether you’re in a shopping mall or at a grocery store, be sure you don’t wear your purse so it’s accessible to others. If you’re in a store and have a cart, DO NOT leave your purse in the cart. Carry it with you.

3. LOCK UP: Don’t forget to lock your car and don’t leave any valuables or anything that can be stolen (e.g., GPS, laptop, etc.) where they can be seen by someone outside the car. Lock them in the trunk.

4. BE CAREFUL using any ATMs. Police say to use outdoor ATMs during daylight hours, protect your pin by shielding it, don't throw away your receipt and watch what's going on around you.

Most of all, stay alert. And call 911 if you see anything suspicious and/or need help.

Do you have any holiday safety tips for residents? Tell us in the comments section below.

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