Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Don't be a target for thieves, Pasco Sheriff's Office says

While shoppers look for bargains, thieves look for easy marks. Stay alert and use common sense, the Sheriff’s Office says.

MAURICE RIVENBARK | Times (2007)

While shoppers look for bargains, thieves look for easy marks. Stay alert and use common sense, the Sheriff’s Office says.

You've heard all this before:

Don't go holiday shopping carrying all your credit cards. Take only the ones you plan to use.

For women, leave your purse at home. For men, carry your wallet someplace besides your back pocket.

Keep your kids close.

The Sheriff's Office reminds us all to be extra careful this holiday shopping season, for all the usual reasons plus a couple more.

Combine the sour economy with the high unemployment rate and you have fertile ground for hungry thieves.

"This time of year is very tempting for offenders," said Sgt. Troy Fergueson. "If you give the bad guys an opportunity, they'll take you up on it."

Fergueson uses terms such as "displacing risk," which sounds like something a statistics professor would expound on.

But in law enforcement, it means leaving your purse at home. Thieves take the path of least resistance, Fergueson says, so a woman with a bag over her shoulder is an easier target than one with credit cards and cash stuffed in various pockets.

When you're walking to your car, he suggests interlacing your keys between your fingers. A jab with a key might be just enough to scare off a bad guy.

But more importantly, he says, have your keys out by the time you reach your car. The best way to make yourself a target: fumble around with shopping bags in a dark parking lot while hunting for your keys.

Also, when going into other stores, always conceal bags and packages inside your car.

The Sheriff's Office will have an increased presence at the county's major shopping centers beginning Friday and on weekends through the end of the year, Fergueson said. That includes deputies on horseback patrolling parking lots, sheriff's volunteers and even plain-clothes deputies walking next to you in the mall.

"We'll be out in force," Fergueson said.

One last thing: Consumer confidence scams tend to spike this time of year too. Beware any deal that seems too good to be true. It probably is.

Yep, it's common-sense stuff. Be safe this holiday season.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Don't be a target for thieves, Pasco Sheriff's Office says 11/23/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 29, 2008 8:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case

    Crime

    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.