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EDITORIAL: Precautions are always recommended

Its a numbers game, all about the odds. Ninety-five people out of 100 will have their guard up. The five who dont will be the ones to suffer a loss.

It sounds a bit like gambling, but when it comes to protecting your purchases and other goods from thieves, nothing beats the advice from police to keep things locked away to cut your losses.

Lock it or lose it – its a campaign police in Pictou County reactivate each year around this time, and for good reason. As Const. Ken MacDonald of New Glasgow Regional Police puts it, people are busy getting ready for Christmas, theyre making the rounds, most of them doing more shopping than usual, often for quite high-priced items.

Being busy can mean being in a hurry, but it shouldnt mean making hasty decisions, or taking chances. It only takes an extra second to lock the doors on your vehicle or to your home. A timely reminder to folks about taking extra precautions could make all the difference.

Thieves will always try the easy targets first – that means checking for doors left unlocked – before going to the extra effort of breaking into a home or vehicle.

Good advice related to that is to park in open areas that are well lit.

MacDonald said the police service has received some reports this year of cars having been broken into, or suspicious activity around vehicles. Items have been taken, or in some cases vehicle documents – another big concern these days considering the trend of making use of personal information for further criminal ends.

There was a time when people could wisely lock valuable items in their trunk – out of sight, less temptation to would-be thieves. The out-of-sight part is still a good idea. But with vehicles of today, access to the passenger area usually means easy access to the trunk with that handy lever located near the drivers seat.

And, yes, its cold outside. But never, ever be tempted to leave the car running unattended for a quick trip into a store, home or other service. Car thieves watch for just such opportunities – and they can often count on one presenting itself if they wait long enough.

Its not too early either to remind people to be careful about how they discard of cardboard boxes and other packaging of large, valuable items. When placed at the end of the driveway for recyclable pickup, in plain view, labels showing, theyre the perfect tip-off for cruising criminal types who would go as far as burglarizing a home. Never leave any clues to make them think your place might be worth the effort.

In that same regard, MacDonald reminds people, when going away during the holidays – or anytime for that matter – its a good idea not to broadcast those plans on social media.

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