SPD provides safety tips for Thanksgiving weekend

Staff Writer

As residents of Starkville prepare for Thanksgiving weekend, the Starkville Police Department has few helpful tips on how to keep both houses and families safe.

SPD Lieutenant of the Investigation division Tom Roberson said for residents to make arrangements prior to going out of town, which include ideas like having someone check in on their residence while they are gone, like a friend or neighbor.

Roberson said SPD even offers a service for residents to check on their homes daily to determine everything looks normal.

“Don’t allow mail or newspapers or things of that nature to pile up, so that it gives someone a hint that someone’s not home,” Roberson said. “Basically what we ask is that everybody be proactive and take the steps in order to protect themselves as much as possible.”

Other tips Roberson included were leaving lights on in the house, alarm systems, timed lights and securing all doors and windows. In lieu of Black Friday, Roberson said if someone was to purchase a new television or other equipment, not to leave the new boxes of the product in the street. He said this could mark you as a target for someone looking to steal.

“Don’t leave things of value in the open whether it be outside your home in your garage, carport or in your vehicle,” Roberson said. “Not leaving those exposures out there that make someone want to come into your home.”

For those preparing to leave there homes, Roberson said to take pictures of all electronics with a serial number. Those electronics can include guns, cameras, laptops and televisions.

He said this will help SPD locate a stolen item faster through a national database, see if someone is trying to pawn the item or if there is one found while on patrol.

Also, Roberson said to take a quick video of rooms before a person leaves there home. He said by doing so, it will help residents notice if something is misplaced, or has been moved. Many times, Roberson said if people think something was just moved and they move it back it could hinder the ability to retrieve fresh prints.

“It protects any possible evidence we might have,” Roberson said.

Those who have iPads, iPhones and laptops with tracking devices, Roberson said to have those activated.

He said the tracking help immensely with SPD retrieving the stolen object.

For those traveling, Roberson said not to leave vulnerable items in their car and to not put themselves in areas they are unfamiliar with or that could be questionable.

“There’s a lot of people that prey on good people,” Roberson said. If people are looking to assist someone on the side of the road or a gas station, he recommends letting them know you can call 911 and get them the proper help for their situation.

SPD will continue its normal patrols and is on the lookout in areas that may have less traffic due to the holidays to ensure the safety of homes and apartments.