Natchitoches Police provides safety tips for the holiday season

A victim of Saturday night’s burglaries shared this photo of their car. They now bear the expense of repairs

Vehicle break-ins on the rise

NPD | Juanice Gray contributed to this article

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The Natchitoches Police Department shares with our community and guests tips with holiday season approaching. During this special time of year, everyone can become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. There were several vehicle burglaries, some reports say up to a dozen, last Saturday night and unfortunately law enforcement does not have any suspects at this time.

This article published in the Dec. 4, 2021, print edition

A spokesperson told the Times that some of the burglaries were people pulling door handles and if unlocked, the thieves rummaged through the vehicle in an attempt to locate valuables. They most likely used the fireworks to cover the sound of glass breaking in the instances where they broke windows to gain access. Preliminary reports point to a single person, or single group of people, that may be responsible for all the incidents.

None of the lots, the Police Jury Parking lot and adjacent church parking lots as well as others where the cars were parked had video surveillance. In addition, another break in was reported behind a Front Street business Wednesday, Dec. 1 around 9 a.m. while the driver was working inside a business.

NPD officers and detectives are investigating these break-ins and following all leads.

In preparation of the Christmas Festival this Saturday, additional local officers and sheriff’s deputies, as well as law enforcement from outside agencies, will be on duty throughout the day.

Anyone who saw suspicious activity concerning these vehicle burglaries should contact NPD at (318) 352-8101. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Below are a few tips on how to stay safe while enjoying the 95th Natchitoches Christmas Festival.

* Avoid driving alone or at night.

* If you must shop at night, try to park in a well-lighted area.

* Try to park as close as you can to your destination.

* Never leave your vehicle unoccupied with the motor running or with children and pets inside.

* Notify your credit card issuer or bank immediately if your card is lost or stolen to prevent any unwanted charges.

* Never leave packages or valuables in the seat of your vehicle. If you must leave any items in your vehicle, lock them in the trunk or put them out of sight to prevent a potential burglary.

* If you pay to park in a private lot, make sure they are providing security.

* Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your vehicle.

* Let your child know prior to attending the Natchitoches Christmas Festival that if they get lost to locate the nearest police officer so they can be returned to you safely.

* Do not approach your vehicle alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

* Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbags or items. You can also use this technique to secure your purse or handbag to a shopping basket.

The Natchitoches Police Department wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:

Call (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender.