Police push safety

Published 3:00 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas is just days away, but unfortunately, the season of giving can also sometimes be the season of taking for opportunistic thieves.

The Troy Police Department arrested a man Tuesday for robbing a man at gunpoint and arrested another man on Wednesday for breaking into a vehicle.

James Valentino Oulsley, 37, was arrested on a charge of unlawful breaking and entering a motor vehicle for a car burglary that occurred on December 14 and was placed into the Pike County Jail on $2,500 bond.

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A female victim in the area of Dale Drive also reported on Tuesday that her house had been burglarized and that someone had come to the day before asking her if she’d like to buy antiques.

While that may not have had anything to do with the burglary, criminals could act in a similar way when casing a house, says Troy Police Chief Randall Barr.

The key for residents during the season, Barr said, is to take every precaution possible to keep from being targeted.

“This time of year, some people tend to take advantage of the season and folks’ generosity,” Barr said. “You want to make sure the stuff in your vehicle is out of sight and out of mind and be sure to protect your homes.”

Barr had several specific tips for residents hoping to prevent a theft.

“Always lock your vehicle and don’t leave firearms in the vehicle at any time or anything valuable at any time,” Barr said. “As far as your residence, don’t leave your key outside. Leave it with a family member or trusted neighbor. Keep blinds and windows closed when you’re not at home.”

“One thing that’s important with Christmas right around the corner, is if you get laptops, tablets or other electronics for Christmas, don’t leave the packages out at the road where thieves can see it.

“Also, if you’re travelling, be careful what you put on social media about when you’ll be home. Someone may see that as a ten-day opportunity to break into your house.”

In addition to these tips, Barr also encouraged residents to report activity that seems suspicious.

“Don’t hesitate to call and report to police if you see something suspicious,” Barr said. “Police can’t be everywhere; we rely on the public to see and report things.”

Barr also wanted to advise residents on what to do if they were to come home to find their home burglarized.

“If you come home and find that, don’t touch anything you don’t have to,” Barr said. “Back out as soon as you realize what’s happened and call the police. That way they can make sure no one’s in there and the police could hopefully find some evidence that would lead to the suspect and the lost property. ”