Crime & Courts Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Holiday season could bring increase in crime

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In the next week, Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Evans expects to see an increase in crime.

His experience in the Property Crimes Division has shown that criminals shop around during the holidays just like everyone else.

Only they aren’t interested in what’s on the shelves. They’re interested in what’s left on the back seat of your vehicle.

“There’s a lot of shopping going on during the holidays, and people tend to leave bags in plain view, catering to a lot more thefts,” Evans said.

He recommends parking as close to the store as possible and keeping all bags locked away in the trunk to keep thieves who prey on shopping center parking lots from seeing your vehicle as an easy target.

These same thefts often also fall into the hands of the Technical Crimes Division at the sheriff’s office.

“Don’t leave anything in your car, period,” said Investigator Mike Lanham, who sees a flurry of financial card thefts and frauds every holiday season.

The most common method of obtaining credit and debit cards, he said, is through vehicle break-ins.

“Hiding” a purse or wallet inside the vehicle just doesn’t cut it. If you can’t carry it, just don’t leave home with it.

He also advises that shoppers use caution when paying with a debit or credit card.

If possible, try to swipe your card yourself, Lanham said. But if you have to give it to a clerk, keep your eye on it throughout the transaction.

“If you don’t like something they do, contact management right away,” he said.

The good news is there usually isn’t an increase in home burglaries, according to Evans.

However, a twinkling Christmas tree in the front window of a house only serves as temptation for a burglar.

“It gives everyone a heads up that you’ve got a Christmas tree and probably already have a present under it,” he said.


• Park as close as possible to the store in a well-lit area.

• Avoid shopping alone or late at night.

• Secure all packages in the trunk.

• Never leave purses, wallets or any personal information in the vehicle.

• Don’t set the Christmas tree near the front window of your home.

• Avoid putting presents under the tree until the last possible moment.

• Keep an eye on your credit or debit card during transactions.

• Use caution online. Only purchase from reputable sites that have been approved by the Better Business Bureau and have security features.

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Asitisinaug 11/15/11 - 06:08 am
If our courts would put and

If our courts would put and keep repeat offenders where they belong, we could actually go back to dispalying our Christmas trees in this country....sad state of affairs we have reached.

Patty-P 11/15/11 - 07:48 am
asitis...I was thinking the

asitis...I was thinking the same thing. What's the world coming to when you can't celebrate the holidays for fear of home invasions or burglaries?

augusta citizen
augusta citizen 11/15/11 - 09:12 am
Sad state of affairs, indeed.

Sad state of affairs, indeed. My grandmother would say the world's going somewhere in a handbasket.

seenitB4 11/15/11 - 09:30 am
This makes me mad....when the

This makes me mad....when the crime gets to the point you can't celebrate with a Christmas tree in the window---car parked away from store...wallet/credit card out of sight to any & all---we are living in a lowlow ....why do we take it?? We need to occupy"something" & let our disgust known...we pay for security--we pay for protection---if we didn't endure this in the 50s & 60s...why are we putting up with this CRAP now?????

wondersnevercease 11/15/11 - 10:41 am
Or you could celebrate the

Or you could celebrate the season quietly and with family and friends no extravagant shopping for electronics from china..or shoddy toys from some sweat shop in Asia....................the Christmas Holidays can be a wonderful, safe and Holy time..when we rejoice in the birth of our Savior.

stillamazed 11/15/11 - 03:37 pm
I believe you can still

I believe you can still rejoice in the reason for the season and enjoy shopping and merriment also. People should not have to be afraid to take the children to the mall to shop or take pics with Santa. Some people still enjoy all the hustle and bustle of the season and criminals should not be allowed to spoil it but the holiday crime has already started so please just be safe and be aware of your surroundings

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 11/16/11 - 08:33 pm
Attack of the Grinch’s :o(

Attack of the Grinch’s :o( 2011. Kinda makes you wonder how it will be this time in 2012 when millions of fools think the world is going to end?
imho we should watch out more for 2013 than 2012 . We're going to enjoy our holidays because we're carefull to Cover our Assets:o)ha haha

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