(903) 569-0778 (fax)
As the holiday season approaches us quickly, so does the temptation of the criminal element in every community. The Mineola Police Department reminds you to make your home a hard target during the holiday season. Items left in the yard, such as lawn mowers, gardening equipment, bicycles, toys etc. are easy pickins for the criminal. These items usually get stolen and re-sold and the monies used for buying gifts for the criminal's family.
Open garage doors and cars left unlocked are also easy targets. Remember to lock the doors and windows on your home when you leave, even if for a short time period.
If you plan a trip to a crowded shopping center, take along a friend or family member. Remain alert as to your surroundings at all times. The thief is looking for someone who appears caught up in the hustle of shopping. Take a quick look around and in your car before getting into it. Try to have your keys in your hand and ready before approaching your car in the parking lot.
Finally, if you are going to be traveling during the holiday season, leave a few interior lights on and have your paper and mail stopped while you are gone. If you don't want to have it stopped, have a trusted friend or neighbor pick them up at regular intervals. A yard littered with unread newspapers, a mailbox full of mail or packages on your front porch is a dead giveaway that no one is home. Ask your neighbors to park a car in your driveway. The goal is to have your home appear as it is still occupied. Lights and stereos on a timer are also a good idea. While traveling alone or late at night, let someone know what your route is going to be and what time you expect to arrive. Have someone come outside to meet you when you arrive late at night.
The Mineola Police Department offers residents a vacation house watch. This is a program that offers additional patrol watch of your residence when you are on vacation. Upon officer availability, your home will be periodically checked for its security. While this is no guarantee that your home will not be burglarized, it could offer you a little more comfort while you are away. The house watch forms are available at the Police Department.