Sheriff Tommy Bryant

As your sheriff, I encourage you to share these tips and follow these simple suggestions to help protect yourself and make it tougher on criminals.

At home:

Keep your doors and windows locked. Use quality deadbolt locks on exterior doors. Install a peephole in your front door so you can see who is there before being seen yourself. Keep your home lit up at night both inside and outside. Keep your curtains closed at night. Light up your entry doors so you can tell who is there. Brighten up the property so criminals have more difficulty hiding. Trim shrubs and trees to help eliminate hiding place. If you are gone more than a day, try to make your home look and sound like someone is home.

Your car:

As soon as you are in your car lock the doors. Keep your car in good running order and keep the tank at least half full. Lock packages and valuable items out of sight. Always look in the front and back seat of your car before entering. Never pick up hitch hikers. If your car breaks down, pull over off the roadway, put on your flashers or flares or reflective markers. Stay with you car and call for help on your cell phone. If a stranger offers to help, ask them to call the police, sheriff or state trooper to assist you.

On foot:

Carry your purse close to your body at all times, donít let it dangle from your arm and never leave it in a shopping cart. Donít carry a lot of cash with you or more credit cards than you need. Avoid walking alone at night. Have your government/pay checks sent directly to your bank account. If you arrive home and suspect that a stranger is inside donít go in. Leave as quietly as possible and call 911.

If you have become the victim of a scam, report the crime to your local law enforcement agency. Con artists rely on your reluctance to come forward and admit that you have been swindled. This can happen to anyone so donít hold back. Report the crime.