• DO NOT leave purchased items in plain view in your vehicle. Place them in the trunk or cover them with a blanket or other items. Keep your car locked.
  • If you shop at night, park in a well-lit heavily traveled area.
  • When possible, avoid shopping alone.
  • Use checks or debit/credit cards to make purchases. Carry only a minimal amount of cash.
  • If your credit/debit card is lost, stolen or misused, notify issuer as soon as possible. Keep a copy of credit card numbers at home in a safe place.
  • Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, people try various methods of distractions to try and steal money or belongings.
  • DO NOT leave your purse or wallet unattended for any amount of time.
  • Be extra cautious when using ATM’s. Use machines in well-lighted populated areas and be aware of your surroundings.

Identity Theft

  • Prevent identity theft by safeguarding your information.
  • Look for suspicious activity by frequently checking your financial accounts and billing statements.
  • Report identity theft as soon as you suspect it may be happening.


  • Lock everything- unlocked windows, doors, and carports are an invitation to burglaries.
  • Secure valuables- never leave anything of value in plain sight. If you have not done so, consider placing jewelry, extra cash and other valuables in a safe deposit box or a hidden home safe.
  • Leave the light on- keeping a light or lights on gives the appearance somebody is home. Activate your alarm system if available.

Safe Driving

  • Don’t drink and drive, it’s that simple.
  • Avoid distractions like cell phones, eating, rubber necking and DO NOT text!
  • Buckle your seatbelt and properly use installed child safety seats.
  • Be flexible in setting your travel plans. Road conditions and traffic patterns may change.
  • Stay fresh and alert when driving. Don’t try to meet unrealistic schedules. Take plenty of breaks.
  • Traffic is heavy during the holidays SLOW DOWN and obey the speed limits.

I hope that some of these safety tips will help you this Christmas and into the New Year.

Sheriff John G. Carter