The holiday season is underway, and police encourage people to be cautious, safe and more careful in securing their vehicles. 

"We encourage you to hide your things, lock your car and take your keys," said Taylor Police Commander Joseph Branson. "Just following those steps will set you up for a safe and fun holiday season."

He said burglaries of vehicles are typically a crime of opportunity. He said people are looking for unlocked cars to see if there is anything visible in the car that has value. 

Branson said it is important to not only hide your valuables and lock your car, but to also take your keys, even when running inside a store for a brief moment. He said while people are out holiday shopping and loading their vehicles with gifts, criminals are watching.

Police want to avoid a spike in crimes of opportunity, especially around the holiday season. Residents are also reminded to secure their homes as well, including all windows and doors, turn on house lights when away at night, and keep valuable items away from open windows.

The Taylor Police Department has been advertising the hide, lock and take initiative for several years. Additional information is available on the city's website.

Next week, the city of Taylor will release a video that covers hide, lock and take. 

"We're talking about holiday safety tips in the video," Branson said. "When you're out and about shopping, don't leave valuables in your car and certainly don't leave your car unlocked. Follow our initiative of hide, lock and take."

Other tips mentioned are to be aware of your surroundings, don't shop alone and other basic safety tips. 

"If you're out and about in town and you're uncomfortable, in any situation, just call and we'll have an officer come to you," Branson said. "there is no reason to feel uncomfortable or unsafe in this town. Just call the police if you feel suspicious of anything, and let us handle what ever it is."

The video will be available on the city of Taylor website and social media channels. The non-emergency number for the Taylor Police Department is 512-352-5551.

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