LITTLE ELM — While many will always refer to the Christmas season as one of peace, tranquility and happiness, there are those who see this time of year as one of theft, break-ins and criminal activity.

“This is supposed to be a time when we express generosity and goodwill to loved ones, and even strangers,” Police Chief Rodney Harrison said. “Unfortunately, it’s also when some people feel like it’s an opportunity to take advantage of others.”

As is always the case, but especially during this time of year, law enforcement and residents must closely cooperate in keeping a constant watch out for crime and criminals and implement supportive measures to fight it.

“Police officers simply cannot be everywhere all the time,” he said. “Therefore, residents must take an active role in exercising good crime prevention habits, especially during this time of year. Crimes of opportunity, the so-called grab and dash, are most prevalent, and mostly because shoppers and residents are not paying attention.”

Implementing the Lock, Take, Hide approach to vehicles can reduce the most common form of property crime, BMV, breaking into a motor vehicle. The approach includes locking the car, taking the keys and hiding property.

“As troublesome as it may sound, it’s a good idea to remove your automatic garage door opener out of the vehicle,” Harrison said. “Even if the homeowner locks the door between the garage and the home’s interior, breaking in is much easier when the criminal is in the garage.”

Here are some other tips from the Police Department that can help deter both property and personal crime:

 Be aware of your surroundings, know where you are and what’s around you;

 Park in a well-lit, well-traveled area of the parking lot at shopping centers;

 Store packages in your trunk, or in the back seat, covered with a dark blanket;

 Alert others of your shopping plans and let them know your movements;

 At home, don’t display gifts near windows or where they can easily be seen;

 Don’t advertise your travel on social media, post your travel photos when you return;

 Careful when purchasing online, deals too good to be true usually turn out badly;

 Avoid traveling or shopping alone.

The season is filled with many opportunities to make wonderful, lasting memories, but it can also be a time when needless pain and sorrow can strike, if one is not careful. Being aware, alert and mindful can make a difference.

“Our police officers wish everyone a safe and trouble-free holiday season,” the chief said. “Our fondest wish is for everyone to enjoy the holidays with family and friends in the spirit of the season.”