Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 30, 2012

Officials: Uptick in shoplifting, burglaries seen during holidays

PRINCETON — In addition to holiday sales numbers the amount of shoplifters and home burglaries being reported to police are also increasing with the Christmas season.

Sgt. D.W. Miller, detachment commander of the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment, said shoplifting is one crime that typically increases around the holidays.

“We have seen a spike in shoplifting arrests and things of that nature,” Miller said. “It is very typical for this time of year. It’s really not any one item in particular. There is a laundry list of items. No one item is stolen more than another.”

Miller said burglaries also traditionally spike during the holidays, but have only slightly increased in the area recently.

“We are seeing burglaries and thefts from homes,” he said. “They spike a little bit during the holiday season, but they are also a year-round occurrence we have to deal with.”

Miller said there are steps shoppers can take to protect themselves while out searching for the perfect gift.

“While you are shopping, I would most certainly recommend you put packages of things you have already bought in the trunk or hide them in the car so people cannot see them by looking in through your vehicle,” he said. “Secure your purse and wallet while you are out as well.”

As many people take trips or attend parties during the holiday season, Miller said it is also important to ensure residences are secured.

“When you leave your home, make sure everything locked up properly,” he said. “If you have neighbors you trust, ask them to keep an eye on your place while your gone.”

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com�

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