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Tregre: Stay safe, keep what’s yours this holiday season

This is the time of year when everyone starts to plan for the holidays with parties, travel, gatherings and lots of gift-giving.

And while times are constantly changing, some things do not.

While most of us are planning merriment, there are some who are planning to take advantage of the opportunity to commit a crime on uninformed citizens.

Here are some of the best, but traditional safety tips that were applicable this Holiday Season and all year round!

1. If you have a home security system please set the alarm when leaving your home for any extended period of time.

If you own a home surveillance security system please register with us at stjohnsheriff.org.

2. If you are traveling, please do not advertise your absence from home on social media when you are leaving or while you are gone. It is safer to wait until you get back home to post those pictures of your “sleigh vacay.”

3. If possible, please have your packages delivered to a place where someone will be there to accept it. Thieves, also known as porch pirates have been known to follow delivery trucks and steal packages immediately after they are delivered.

4. And when you get that new flat screen TV, make sure you cut the box up in pieces to fit in your garbage can instead of putting that large box at the curb which can be very inviting to an uninvited guest.

5. Try not to let the newspapers stack up in the driveway and mail overfill your mailbox while you are away for the Holidays or any vacation any time of the year. Unread newspapers and a mailbox full of mail is a sign of no one being home for a while. Ask a neighbor or relative if they could pick those up during your absence.

6. If you are traveling via airplane. Use an office/PO Box as your address and your cell phone instead of your home phone on luggage tags. That way, no one thinks that your home address will be vacant for a while.

7. And finally, burglary of unlocked cars has been our most popular crime in recent years. The problem has become so wide that the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association has started a state wide campaign “Lock it to Stop It” in order to remind citizens to lock their vehicles when not in use … yes, even on your own driveway! So lock up your vehicles, not just while Holiday shopping, but all year round!

In closing, get ready for our annual Senior Citizens luncheon, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at Regala Gym in Reserve.

Each year we expect to serve about 400 seniors. Bingo starts at 10 a.m., but we know that some show up at 8 a.m. out of sheer excitement and this year should be no different.

Good luck to all of our St. John Parish High School football teams as we enter playoff season!

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

Mike Tregre is sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish. Reach him at m.tregre@stjohnsheriff.org.