The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

November 23, 2012

Police urge precautions during holiday season

Staff Reports
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — The Palestine Police Department is reminding the public to take extra precautionary measures to minimize the risk of becoming a crime victim during the holiday season.

“While shopping, take the extra time to place all of your valuables into the trunk of the car. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Do not leave any other type of valuable items such as cell phones, purses or gifts in the passenger area of your vehicle where they can be seen by all,” Palestine Police Department Sgt. James Muniz said. “Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. If given the chance, there are those who will take the items that you have worked hard to pay for.”

Muniz encouraged women to never leave purses unattended, whether in a store, or while loading or unloading a vehicle. While traveling to your vehicle, have your keys in hand, and be mindful of your surroundings.

“Although the holiday season reminds us to be giving and thoughtful, be mindful of strangers approaching you,” Muniz said.

Some scams previously reported to the police involve attempts to make change for large denominations of currency (counterfeit money) or the stranger asking for help with the deposit of money into your bank, which may result in the offenders gaining access to funds in your banking account, Muniz said.

Internet, phone and mail fraud also increases during the holiday season.

“The Palestine Police Department would like to remind everyone not to give out personal information over the phone, especially if you did not initiate the call,” Muniz said. “Remember, if it is too good to be true, it usually is and you probably did not win a contest that you did not enter.”

The Palestine Police Department also is reminding the public not to drink and drive.

“The Palestine Police Department is planning on implementing increased patrols for the purpose of identifying and arresting intoxicated drivers,” Muniz said. “According to a variety of sources, the total cost of a DWI conviction could range from $6,000 to $12,000 or more, however, the cost of losing just one life in a DWI crash can never be measured in dollars. You cannot afford it.”