Madison police offer strategies to thwart holiday burglars
MADISON – Christmas shopping is reaching its fever pitch, and officers in the Madison Police Department are offering tips to cool the chances for crooks to cash in.
The first suggestion is obvious but bears repeating: Lock your car doors … even double-check with the remote. Numerous home burglaries in driveways of Madison homes occur with valuables left in an unlocked car.
Always remember where you park. Forgetful individuals can take a snapshot of the aisle or row marker for a reference before leaving the store.
“Once you walk outside the store, know where you are going, stay off the phone, have your keys in hand and walk with confidence,” Madison Chief of Police Larry Muncey said. “Crooks like distracted and disoriented targets.”
Before leaving a lighted store, scan the parking lot to identify anyone who looks suspicious or out of place. “If you feel uncomfortable, go back into the store and ask the staff to walk you to your car or call 911,” Muncey said. “Trust your instincts. It is better to be safe than to be a victim.”
Thieves will notice an open purse, checkbook, wallet or cell phone lying in the top of a shopping cart. Be sure the wallet is zipped, and snap and thread the cart’s child-restraint straps through the wallet.
When loading bags into a car trunk, do not leave a personal items in the cart. “Place your purse inside the vehicle or trunk,” Muncey said.
To avoid a burglar seeing valuables, place packages in the trunk. “If you drive an SUV, use a blanket or coats to cover items left in plain view,” Muncey said.
After entering a car, lock the doors. If a stranger approaches, do not roll down the window or get out. “Drive away, honk the horn, turn on the lights, hit the remote’s panic button or call 911,” Muncey said.
Madison Police Department is located in City Hall at 100 Hughes Road. For non-emergency situations, call 256-772-5658.