Program reminds Southaven shoppers to safely secure valuables - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

Program reminds Southaven shoppers to safely secure valuables

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Police in Southaven say during the busy holiday shopping season it's important to keep a watchful eye on your valuables.

"Typically we see a decrease in crimes such as auto burglaries, auto thefts, robberies, and such during this time because of this program," Assistant Police Chief Steve Pirtle said.

The 'program' is the Presence Program, something police in Southaven enacted 15 years ago.  The Presence Program is designed as a friendly reminder to keep you alert to those trying to rob you.

Under the program, if an officer spots exposed valuables in your car, you are issued a courtesy citation that advises you that an potential thief may be enticed to break-in to your vehicle.

The officer fills it out, leaves it on your windshield and basically it just advises you that you left some things out that might help entice somebody to break into your vehicle and steal your stuff.>

Shoppers like Tammy Robertson say they forget from time to time when dealing with her kids or distracted.  Robertson believes the citations are a good thing.

"Sometimes in the craziness of the holidays, if I leave something on my seat or the kids need something, I don't mind if they leave it on my car," she said.

According to Pirtle, the citation carries no fine, and is meant only to serve as a reminder.  Pirtle said the department has seen a decrease in holiday crimes since the program was enacted.

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