St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert says, “The best way to keep you and your family safe is to always be aware of your surroundings and to take precautions by following the safety tips listed here. Pay attention to the people around you and their actions. Whether you’re out shopping or at home, report any suspicious activity.”
IN THE PARKING LOT AND AT HOME
Pay close attention to where you park. Park in a well lit area. Have your keys in hand and ready when you leave a shopping center. Scan the parking lot for any suspicious persons. Be wary of groups of people gathering in a parking lot, or people sitting in vehicles watching patrons. If it is dark or you feel uncomfortable, have a security officer escort you to your car. You can contact us here at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office to escort you. When you reach your vehicle, be sure to lock the doors before exiting your parking spot. Once you are done with your shopping for the day, be sure to take all of the items purchased and other valuables out of your vehicle. Also, do not display presents near windows or doors. Always lock your home and vehicle. The majority of criminals only burglarize vehicles and homes that are unlocked. They are opportunistic. Don’t give criminals the opportunity to make victims out of you and your family.
WITH YOUR CHILDREN
Child predators can take advantage of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Supervise your children at all times, including in fitting rooms and restrooms. Come up with an action plan that fits your family in the event you are separated. Establish a pre-designated meeting place with your kids and make sure your kids have your mobile phone number to contact. Do not use our police presence to discipline or threaten your children. You want your kids to seek out our help in the event of an emergency. Encourage your children to ask a police officer or security officer for help if needed.
MAKING HOLIDAY PURCHASES
Always keep your purse closed. Do not leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart or on the floor while you shop. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Guard PIN and credit card numbers. Whether shopping in store or online, keep a watchful eye on credit card, debit card, and check purchases by viewing statements regularly. If you believe an account has been compromised contact the card company and/or bank immediately.
“Trust your instincts, they’re usually right.” Hebert says. “The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office is here for you.” The SMPSO can be reached in Franklin at 337-828-1960 and in Morgan City at 985-384-1622.
St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office
Public Information Officer
985-384-1622 Ext. 714