Okaloosa law enforcement officers give holiday safety tips

crestview police sign
MATTHEW BROWN | Crestview News Bulletin
Published: Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Thieves often prey on unsuspecting individuals amid the holidays’ hustle and bustle. However, armed with the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office and Crestview Police Department’s tips, you can avoid becoming a target.

"The biggest thing we get is people not properly locking up their cars and homes," Ashley Bailey, a crime prevention specialist with Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, said. "Eighty to 85 percent of car burglaries are due to unlocked cars.”

Thieves who don’t steal the vehicle may still take items from inside unlocked vehicles, Bailey said.  

 "They will take anything that isn't nailed down, from loose change to cell phones and iPads," Bailey said.

Some items may reveal personal information, which can lead to more problems like identity theft, officials said.

On the county’s north side, thieves often target houses on large property with few surrounding neighbors, officials said, adding that burglary attempts happen in the daytime, too.

Burglaries particularly happen when thieves see evidence of valuable merchandise — a box for a large HDTV, for instance — that might be inside the home.

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