Police advise holiday shoppers not to be victims of vehicle burglaries

ST. GEORGE – The holiday season is typically known as a time of cheer and giving. Yet to the police, it is also known as a time when vehicle and residential burglaries can increase.

This time of year can be a target-rich environment,” St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said.

“Unfortunately … we have people who take advantage of that,” Hurricane City Police Sgt. Brandon Buell said.

From packed shopping center parking lots to cars parked at home, Despain and Buell said these crimes of opportunity could be easily avoided.

“Don’t leave anything in plain sight (in a car),” Buell said.

Don’t leave a wallet or a laptop on the front seat. for example, he said. Put valuable items in the trunk or cover them up. If a potential thief doesn’t see anything worth taking, they likely won’t take the time to find out.

The police have also often noted that the simple act of keeping car doors locked can be a great deterrent to many would-be thieves.

To help act as a deterrent to vehicle burglaries at shopping centers, the St. George Police’s Mountain Bike Partol is currently patrolling these areas. Despain said their presence has had a positive impact thus far.

Hurricane is doing the same, Buell said. “We always try to increase patrols to prevent the crime,” he said.

As for homes, Despain recommends residents have ample lighting around their homes at night and make sure windows, doors and garage doors are secure and locked. He also said neighbors should alert police if they notice anything they feel is out of the ordinary for the area.

We get to know what is normal in our neighbors and what’s not,” Despain said. If it’s nothing, then it’s nothing, he said. Better to have police respond to that than to not alert them to potential trouble at all.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  • Mr Obvious December 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    “We get to know what is normal in our neighbors and what’s not,” Despain said. If it’s nothing, then it’s nothing, he said. Better to have police respond to that than to not alert them to potential trouble at all.

    Well, SGPD, because of this, I was stopped by not 1, not 2, but 3 of your patrol cars one night because some neighbors “assumed” I was stealing from someone’s backyard. All I did was walk up to the house, and knock on the window so my friend could come outside without disturbing the other people sleeping in the house. Do you realize I have had the police called on me 5 times, without citation/arrest these past 3 months?! Just because I’m HOMELESS. Pathetic. No, it is NOT better to have police respond to that than to not alert them to potential trouble at all. How about do your homework before swooping in on INNOCENT VICTIMS?!?!?!?!?

    • Craig December 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Mr Obvious…
      Apparently it is not obvious to the neighbors who are calling the cops. They don’t know who you are. They don’t know what your motives are. The police have to respond to determine if it’s a visit from a friend or someone who does not belong in the vicinity.
      Frankly, if someone came knocking on my window in the middle of the night, a visit from the cops will be the least of his/her worries.

    • No Kidding December 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Hey there Oblivious, try coming around my neighborhood at night and peeking in er knocking on windows, and see what happens to you. As Craig said, the coppers will be the very least of your worries. In fact, they just might be your saviors.

    • DoubleTap December 12, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Mr. Obvious: So you are homeless, huh? So tell me….when you became homeless you just had to take your computer “on the road” with you? Or do you have an “Obama smart phone” where you can go online and post to articles? Let me guess…you go to the public library and use those computers. But anyway, when you go walking around at night and go knocking on doors in any neighborhood, rest assured that the police will be the least of your worries. Well maybe you’ll wish the police were around to keep you from getting shot if that is your normal nocturnal activity. Do you not believe that residents should be concerned about people wondering the streets at night, specially during these freezing nights we are experiencing? At least you checked out ok and not a menacing prowler/peeping tom. Sorry about your rotten luck to end up homeless…have you checked out Dixie Care and Share for assistance?

  • cccciiiii December 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Stop acting suspicious and I bet you won’t get stopped anymore.

  • To Mr Obvious December 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are it is a duck. Stop sneaking around neighborhoods at night all suspicious like and maybe the police will not stop you anymore. Quite frankly I am grateful the police have stopped you multiple times while you were out at night wandering in a neighborhood, that means they are doing their job.

  • Mark December 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I was at Harmons today and 2 out 3 girls in front of me whip out a welfare card while on their Iphone and they weren’t trashy, just white why are so many people here on welfare? Make them carry a big check and not a debit card. Stop having freaking kids if you can’t afford them, gosh!

  • Zonkerb November 25, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Good article to read with people like Maryann. and evil twit running loose

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