‘Don’t want anyone’s holiday ruined:’ Altamonte Springs police urge shoppers to keep cars safe

Officers patrol different shopping centers around holidays as part of Project Safe Car

(Provided by Consumer Reports)

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The holidays are a time for giving, but the Altamonte Springs Police Department wants to remind residents, for some, it’s also a time for taking.

That’s why the department is starting its annual Project Safe Car this season, which is a program aimed at providing a safe shopping environment and experience for residents and visitors of Altamonte Springs.

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The project serves as a reminder for shoppers to secure their vehicles and lock their valuables in their trunks, away from potential thieves.

“We’ve seen several vehicles just right here on the property with packages in there, purses, backpacks, that kind of thing,” said Lt. Paul Machovina, the public information officer at the department. “It increases the opportunity and the criminals know that too.”

Machovina said he recommends people keep their car windows up, doors locked and bags hidden by placing them in the trunk or using an SUV cover.

Other tips listed on the department’s Facebook page include being aware of your surroundings, inside and out, parking as close to the shopping center entrance as possible, writing down the name of the aisle where you parked, shopping in groups or with friends, having your keys in your hand as you leave the mall, being conscious of people walking near your car or behind you and parking in well-lit areas if shopping at night.

“We came across a Dodge Durango. The back seat was folded down, it’s an SUV, it was filled with packages,” Machovina said. “It would be so easy for someone to ruin your Christmas... We don’t want anyone’s holiday ruined.”

For more information on the project, click here.

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About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.