The county Sheriff's Department provided the following tips for preventing crime during the holiday season:
* Lock doors to residences. Put lights on a timer so that they are turned on during the evening to make the residence look occupied.
* Until Christmas day, keep gifts in different areas throughout a house.
In case of a break-in, the burglar won't find all the items together.
* Lock the doors to vehicles while at shopping areas. Buy expensive or large items last, rather than keeping them in a vehicle until done shopping. Put packages in the trunk or cover them.
* Keep money and credit cards in separate pockets. Women should not carry a purse while shopping, while men should keep only small bills in wallets.
* Avoid giving credit card numbers over the telephone unless you called the business. If interested in merchandise being offered, get the caller to send the information by mail or get a phone number and then call back.
* Merchants should only keep a small amount of money in cash registers. In addition, businesses should staff more than one employee at a time.
For more information on crime-prevention tips and programs, call the sheriff's department at 836-5422.