The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 2, 2012

Stay protected during holidays

DANVILLE — In a season of giving, some people are more interested right now in taking.

With the holiday season comes a greater chance residents could become crime victims if they don’t take precautions. Several areas become attractive to criminals as the holiday season continues.

Danville Police Deputy Director Doug Miller said the city usually tends to see an increase in the number of thefts and shoplifting reports this time of year. But some criminals are interested in much more than what is on store shelves or what people have purchased.

“One of the biggest things is credit card and identity thefts,” he said, adding people are out in the stores more and busy, making them potential targets.

A person’s car or truck becomes an easy target, and numbers show an increase in the number of vehicle burglaries in Danville around the Christmas season. Aside from purchases that have been made, drivers can leave items such as purses within full view.

According to Danville Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason, less is more when it comes to trying to protect your identity during the busy shopping season. He stressed limiting the number of personal items a person carries while out shopping.

“If you only need one credit or debit card, that’s all you should be taking, along with an ID,” he said.

He also pointed out that people should make sure they get receipts for all purchases and make sure they don’t leave information — such as a PIN for a debit card — open for all to see.

“When entering a PIN number, people should not be on top of you,” he said, adding that people should use their body to block people from seeing the number.

Miller said people should take the time to check their credit card statements to watch for unknown purchases. Outside of the holiday season, he also suggested people obtain a credit check once a year to ensure no one has opened a credit card in their name.

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