Natchitoches Parish law enforcement leaders recently discussed their increased focus on preventing thefts during the holiday season in addition to their ongoing effort of investigating violent and other crimes.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright and Natchitoches City Police Chief Nikeo Collins both agreed that December is a time when citizens should be extra cautious with their holiday purchases and items on their property.

“Citizens should not leave any valuables in their vehicles unattended. This includes recent shopping purchases. Also, please retrieve all shipping packages soon after arrival. These two simple measures will significantly reduce the opportunity for a thief to target your items,” said Sheriff Wright.

District Attorney Harrington discussed the theft of goods from area merchants. “We will certainly prosecute all shoplifting cases referred to our office. Our area store owners work hard to keep their costs as reasonable as they can, but in the end we all pay the price for shoplifters. We will continue to work with business owners and their security teams in gathering all evidence needed to prosecute shoplifters,” said District Attorney Harrington.

Chief Collins said, “Our focus is to ensure that the holiday season in our city is as safe as possible. We welcome thousands of visitors who come here each December to see our great display of lights and our warm hospitality. We want to make sure our residents and visitors have wonderful experiences during the Christmas season. We know that by doing everything we can to prevent and deter criminal activity, everyone benefits.”

If a citizen witnesses a retail theft or a theft on private property, police urge them to not engage the thief, but to immediately call 911 and provide as many details as possible. Citizens can remain anonymous.

“Our alert citizens are great partners in helping our community reduce crime and stay safe,” said Sheriff Wright.