TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - With a nearly 40 percent rise in thefts from vehicles this year in Tuscaloosa, the Tuscaloosa Police Department is reminding residents to help protect themselves from criminals this holiday season. TPD says of the vehicles burglarized this year, 70 percent of them were unlocked.
TPD Lt. Teena Richardson reminds people to lock not only their vehicles, but also their homes, especially with many people traveling for the holidays.
Richardson says set your security alarm if you have one, leave lights on, and have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your mail and packages.
"The first level of protection is that you have to take it yourself," Richardson said. "And so we're asking everybody to assist us in helping you by doing that."
Richardson says TPD will have extra patrols in place over the next few weeks, including at shopping areas.
She also reminds shoppers of steps they should take to make themselves less of a target for criminals.
"Make sure your packages are out of the view of the public. Secure them in areas where they can't be seen. As you're leaving the malls or the stores, if you don't have a shopping buddy with you, then make sure that you're aware of your surroundings and that you protect yourself, as well as your belongings, and have your keys in hand as you approach your vehicle."