Authorities, retailers hope for safe holiday season

Several local businesses have invested in security systems or add extra officers to ensure the safety of their customers during the holiday season.

At Burnham Shoes in Columbus, they have security systems inside and outside of their stores. They highly recommend their customers to dress down. Things like showy jewelry or really nice clothing could put you in the sight of a criminal.

Major Julius Graham with the Columbus Police Department says during this time of year there is a heightened presence of officers on the street. Retail and local businesses are hiring off-duty officers to work in their stores.

Graham says that people should be extra vigilant because of the struggling economy. More and more people are resulting to theft as a way to get the things that they want or need.

"We suggest that individuals protect themselves at all times. Get your keys out of your pockets or purses prior to leaving the store. If at all possible, park in a well lit area."

The bottom line is to try not to draw attention to yourself. Never have open cash displayed whether it is in your car or walking with it in your hand.

Another important tip, do not leave your cars running with the keys inside.

Last year there were several reported cases in Columbus where people left their cars unattended and they were broken into.

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