Criminal Justice Students Begin Holiday Theft Prevention Program

PHOTO: Criminal Justice students check valuables to see if they are potential targets for thefts.

Students from the Charles County Sheriff's Office and Charles County Public Schools Criminal Justice Program at North Point High School kicked off the 2005 season of Detect and Deter recently to encourage citizens to remember important tips to prevent crime this holiday season.

Thirty-one students canvassed local shopping center parking lots between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Nov. 29 for vehicles that may be potential targets of theft. When they found vehicles with valuables in plain view, they left information about better theft prevention practices on the windshield of the vehicle. The students issued more than three hundred pamphlets during the first day of the operation.

The students search parking lots for vehicles with shopping bags, gifts, cell phones and other items in plain view. The information they leave for drivers identifies the vehicle as a potential target of theft and offers crime prevention tips. Avoid becoming a victim of theft by locking your doors and do not leave valuables in plain view. Put packages in the trunk or in a covered area not easily visible or accessible. Never leave they keys to your vehicle inside the vehicle - this includes starting your car to let it warm up in the morning.

The students will continue Detect and Deter through the holiday season randomly during both day and evening hours. Detect and Deter is one of many community services provided by students in the Criminal Justice Program. Students this school year have completed more than 800 collective hours of community service through the Criminal Justice Program and the Sheriff's Office Explorer Post.

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