Theft warning from police

Keeping you safe . . . Police Sergeant Chris Parsons, of Balclutha, is sending a message to the public to keep their possessions safe this Christmas. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

Keep your belongings safe, especially over Christmas, is the message from police.

Sergeant Chris Parsons, of Balclutha, wants people to be careful with their belongings to avoid becoming a victim over the Christmas and summer holidays.

‘‘Around this time of year we tend to see a spike in incidents where people are stealing or losing property, valuables or hearing about it, so we’re just reminding people to keep safe this year,’’ Sgt Parsons said.

A common rise in criminal activity around the Christmas period suggested ‘‘opportunists’’ took the time to create victims out of others when finances were tough and desperation kicked in, he said.

‘‘We’ve had a couple of incidents in the peninsula areas within the district in the past six months and we unfortunately expect burglaries and theft to occur more during this time of year, but obviously don’t ever want it to happen.’’

Sgt Parsons said burglaries and theft were more prevalent in rural areas but could happen anywhere.

‘‘The main goal is for everyone to keep hold [of] their belongings, have them locked away and stay safe over the Christmas period.’’

He suggested ways to prevent theft of personal belongings included keeping items out of sight and secure, and limiting posts on social media which might contain the location of items or life updates that suggested nobody was home at your residence.

Having photos and lists of personal items and belongings was a good way to keep track of them and could assist police with relocating the items if they were to be stolen.

Another suggestion Sgt Parsons made was to label belongings, possibly with ultraviolet pens which police could use as a method to identify and recover items.

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