As Holiday Season Approaches Be A Smart Shopper

By Larry S. Moore

It is that time of year again. Officials in Bellbrook, a suburb south of Dayton/Kettering, are warning to be on the lookout for a seasonal bandit. The WDTN TV-2 Dayton story warns of a bandit who apparently only works in October and November. In a separate WDTN story, pickpockets are targeting area shoppers with the latest a being a Cub Foods store south of Dayton. The story notes that Miami Township Police Sergeant Phares offers advice to be careful of your belongings and make sure that if someone bumps into you that your check your wallet.

It seems like as the holiday seasons approach we all get pre-occupied with the kids at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, school plays, and a million other errands. These early warnings are good advice to be vigilant in our travels and take care of our personal belongings.

Of course, the concealed handgun license holder who is carrying should always practice this heightened sense of awareness. But whether we are bumped into by a pickpocket or just trying to find a way to comply with a business' discriminatory "no-guns" signs or parking lot ban, there exists extra challenges for Ohio CHL-holders.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

Yet another hurdle results from a ridiculous "plain sight' provision in Ohio law which results in law-abiding citizens without a locking glove box having to store their firearm in a locked container that is plain sight when leaving it behind in their motor vehicle.

The headlines below are only the beginning - and in coming weeks shoppers across the state will again be subject to broken windows, stolen packages, and advice from police not to leave valuables in cars where criminals can spot them. Every Ohio CHL-holder will be able to comply with that sound advice as soon as HB347 becomes law.

    Be On The Lookout For Seasonal Bandit
    Bellbrook police have a warning for local businesses. Watch out for a "seasoned criminal."

    Police said the bandit works only in October and November. Gas station surveillance recorded him during October of 2003. He then hit a Centerville business weeks later.

    And last November, he pulled a gun on a shopping center employee.

    If you recognize the robber, call Bellbrook police.

    Pickpockets Pick On Cub Customer
    Police in Miami Township are on the lookout for a group of thieves targeting area shoppers. Investigators said the group of three pickpockets hit a local grocery store last week with a plan they had mapped out perfectly.

    They said the men walked around the Cub Foods on Route 741 for a few minutes, picked out a victim and put their plan into action. One man acted as if he'd gotten his arm stuck in the front door, when a customer ran to his aid, the second culprit came from behind and lifted the victims wallet. Police believe the third man then ran to several near by stores making various charges on the victims credit card.

    Miami Township Police Sergeant Jay Phares offered this advice, "Just be careful of your belongings. Just make sure if somebody bumps into you, you're feeling for that wallet, and try to prevent these kind of crimes."

    If you have any information about this crime, you are asked to contact the Miami Township Police Department's anonymous tips line at 434-TIPS.

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