“If you see something, say something.”
This simple advice offered by Richmond Police Chief David Teske could mean the difference between stopping crime in your neighborhood this holiday season or missing out on the chance to do so.
An odd noise in the night, seeing someone in your neighborhood who looks out of place or up to something, or a suspicious vehicle lingering in the area are all worthy of a phone call to the local police.
“People are afraid to call; they think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to bother the police.’ But give us a holler and let us know, and we’ll take it from there,” Teske said.
Just last month, Teske posted an announcement on Facebook asking for the public’s assistance after 30 malicious destruction of property reports were filed in Richmond and other surrounding areas. The reports included damage to vehicle windows and home windows that were shot out and/or damaged by blunt force.
“We had a couple weekends in a row where there were six or eight reports one weekend and more the next and we keep track of each of these incidents and share information with the other (agencies),” Teske said. “Last weekend, one or two more incidents were reported but they seemed to have subsided around here somewhat now.”
Noting that breaking into vehicles along the street is usually a “crime of opportunity by juveniles,” Teske reminded citizens to simply lock their car doors and keep valuables in the house.
In addition to preventing destructive incidents, Teske also offered tips for holiday shoppers. He said citizens should always lock their purses and packages in the trunk of their cars when going in and out different stores.
At home, he suggested people keep things well-lit, and if they plan to be away, to let their neighbors know and also give the police department a call and get on the vacation watch list.
“Obviously we can’t be everywhere, so if you’re going to be away for a period of time, tell us and let your neighbors know because we can always use the extra eyes and ears,” Teske said.
Memphis Police Chief Kevin Sommers — a retired Warren command officer — offered some basic tips for holiday shoppers.
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