• September 17, 2014

Police: Uptick in crime during holidays

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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 4:30 am | Updated: 11:51 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, cities around the country experience some increases in crime and accidents, and Copperas Cove is no exception.

Sgt. Kevin Keller, with the Copperas Cove Police Department, said there aren’t many felony crimes that traditionally increase around the holidays, but there are several misdemeanor incidents that are reported more often.

Police respond to more larceny theft, vehicle collisions and domestic disturbance calls as Christmas nears, he said.

“You have a lot more people on the road and sometimes there is inclement weather,” said Mike Fleming, Copperas Cove fire marshal. “It is not uncommon for us to get a little busier in regard to accidents at this time of year.”

To avoid the possibility of accidents, residents hopefully tried to do most of their holiday shopping earlier, he said. Traffic gets busier closer to Christmas and more people are often in a rush.

“The sooner you get your things done, the less likely you are going to be out in the crowd,” Fleming said.

Other safety tips include obeying traffic laws, limiting driver distractions, paying more attention and watching speed and for pedestrians.

While home burglaries are often a concern for police around the holiday, Keller said Cove police don’t typically see more break-ins than at other times of the year.

Thefts, however, are a problem, and more incidents have been reported from major retailers such as Walmart, he said.

To avoid being involved in a theft incident, residents should always lock their car doors, keep presents in vehicles out of sight from passersby, hold purses close to their bodies and be aware of suspicious activity, Keller said.

Burglar tips are similar, he said. Residents shouldn’t broadcast their presents by placing large boxes, such as those for televisions, outside their homes.

If the resident is leaving town, they should have a neighbor or friend watch their homes during their absence.

“Don’t allow the residence to look like it is unoccupied,” Keller said, noting people should leave lights on and/or have motion detection lights around the home.

Keller nor Fleming offered many tips when it comes to preventing domestic disturbances during the holiday season. But Keller said people should mind their alcohol consumption and try to relax.

Fleming also said there is a concern about house fires during the holidays.

He recommended people use electric candles, take good care of their Christmas decorations and don’t place Christmas trees near exits, open flames or other heating sources.

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