EBRSO initiates use of watch tower in high traffic shopping area - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

EBRSO initiates use of watch tower in high traffic shopping areas

A watch tower will be placed at various commercial locations to allow for better surveillance of high traffic shopping areas. (Source: Ben Gauthier/WAFB) A watch tower will be placed at various commercial locations to allow for better surveillance of high traffic shopping areas. (Source: Ben Gauthier/WAFB)

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said it has increased patrols and will use its watch tower this holiday season to help keep shoppers as safe as possible.

EBRSO reported the watch tower was set up Thursday night at the Target on Millerville Road.

Deputies will focus their efforts on high traffic areas where they say they know shoppers will be targeted.

"We know that this increased presence works and basically, what we have is during the holiday season, there's an increased opportunity for crimes," said Casey Rayborn Hicks, spokeswoman for EBRSO. "Most property crimes are crimes of opportunity, so we want to try to eliminate those opportunities."

The sheriff's office is also asking that residents play a role in protecting themselves against crime, particularly theft. Below is a list of things that residents can do to protect themselves:

SHOPPING

While Shopping

When parking a vehicle, attempt to park in a well lit area.

Keys should never be left in an unoccupied vehicle, nor should a vehicle ever be left running while not occupied.

Vehicle doors should always be locked when unoccupied.

Valuables should be locked in the trunk or removed from the vehicle when possible.

Any vehicle equipped with an alarm or anti-theft device should have the device activated when unoccupied.

Walking to your car

Keys in hand

Purses on your person by the way of shoulder strap or holding the purse in their hand

Be aware of your surroundings, people around you etc. Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement immediately.

Try to avoid walking alone, especially at night.

Once at Car

Valuable items should be kept out of view from public access as items easily observed invite crimes of opportunity. 

Put them in the trunk or somewhere out of sight.

YOUR HOME

Any residence with an alarm should have the alarm activated when unoccupied. The residence should also have posted signs or window decals indicating that it is protected by an alarm system.

When a planned absence from the residence occurs, mail and newspaper deliveries should be stopped.

Residents should cooperate with neighborhood watch programs when established. If a neighborhood watch program is not in effect, the neighborhood association should contact EBRSO and establish one.

Motion detection lighting can be used on the exterior of the residence.

All locks should be activated when the residence is unoccupied or when residents retire for the night.

Windows that can be observed from public access should have drapery or blinds drawn to prevent valuables from being observed.

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