ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- With the winter holiday season unofficially getting underway, many people are purchasing gifts for family and friends.
The Albemarle County Police Department says it will have extra patrols out to try to deter criminal activity, but residents can help by taking a few steps.
According to police, officers have already dealt with 269 cases of larceny from a motor vehicle so far this year.
Most of those crimes occurred in the late evening or early morning hours.
Residents are urged to lock their doors and close windows as well remove all valuables from vehicles, especially gifts.
Park vehicles in well-lit areas if possible and invest in an anti-theft system.
If residents see any signs a vehicle has been disturbed or anything suspicious, they should call police.
Scammers are also targeting people under the guise of banking, taxes, charity or health.
Anyone receiving an unsolicited call seeking personal information should refuse to give out any personal information to the caller such as account numbers, social security numbers or pin numbers, and hang up if the call is pre-recorded.
People who suspect they have been the victim of a scam should contact their local law enforcement agency to report it.
The ACPD has a department dedicated to teaching people about crime prevention, through which an officer can be brought to a neighborhood or community meeting. Call (434) 296-5907, option 0 and ask for Officers Steve McCall or Joe George for more information.
For more information on reporting suspicious activity, scams or frauds, call that number or click on the links in the Related Links box.
People can also sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry to prevent some unsolicited calls.