Gas Station Theft Prevention

Gas stations provide a unique setting for crime and theft to occur.  Gas station settings often allow thieves to catch their victims by complete surprise — when they are pumping gas or paying their tab inside the station.  Gas station customers often leave their car doors unlocked and items like purses and wallets are often left in plain view. A thief is easily able to drive up next to the victim’s car, open an unlocked door, and grab valuables. Then the thief is able to quickly drive off.  This type of theft happens in a matter of seconds.

This type of crime can be easily prevented if the appropriate precautions are taken. The National Crime Prevention Council recommends the following tips to prevent citizens from becoming victims of theft at local gas stations:

  • Pick stations that are well-lit and if possible, have video surveillance cameras at the pump.
  • Always remove your keys from your vehicle and lock the doors while you are pumping gas and if you are going inside of the gas station.
  • Keep valuables out of plain view in your vehicle.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings and be alert.
  • Don’t let your cell phone distract you.

Following these helpful tips can prevent you from being a victim of crime or theft at a gas station.  Here are some other helpfulparking and driving safety tips to remember when shopping or traveling in your vehicle:

  • ALWAYS lock your vehicle, even if at home or in your garage.
  • NEVER leave your vehicle idling while you are not in the vehicle.
  • NEVER leave your keys in the ignition if you are not in the vehicle.
  • NEVER keep spare keys in, on or under your car. Auto thieves know all the obvious places to look.
  • NEVER put identifying information on your key chain.
  • ALWAYS drive with your doors locked and windows up.
  • At night, park in well-lit and well-traveled areas.
  • When shopping, park close to the store’s entrance. This is usually safer and help is closer should you need it.
  • Avoid leaving valuables, packages, luggage, cell phones, pagers, garage door openers, mail or documents in view inside your vehicle.
  • Never leave your vehicle’s title or registration information in your vehicle.  Keep the title in a safe place and keep your registration in your wallet.
  • Do not leave your checkbook, credit cards, or other items with identifying information in your vehicle.
  • ALWAYS pay attention to your surroundings when driving or parking.  If you see suspicious persons or vehicles as you are approaching your parked vehicle, do not go to your vehicle. Instead walk to a safe place and call the police.
  • ALWAYS have your keys or remote ready to unlock your vehicle. Don’t spend time fumbling for your keys. The more time you take, the greater you are at risk.

What Community Watch Is Not…..

–          A vigilante group

–          Citizens pursuing criminals

–          Citizens becoming physically involved

–          Taking the law into your own hands


What Is Community Watch…

Community Watches offer citizens the ability to work with law enforcement to prevent and rid communities of vandalism and crime.  Proven to be one of the most effective and least costly answers to crime, Community Watches encourage residents to join together and be aware of activities around them in their daily lives.


Community Watch is a crime prevention program that enlists the active participation of citizens in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce crime in their communities.  Today, citizens assume greater roles in helping law enforcement to protect and serve them.  Community policing improves the quality of life in a community.


Community Watches are more than looking out for suspicious activity.  Watches allow individuals, who often don’t know their own neighbors, the opportunity to discover common interests and priorities and protect themselves, their families and homes in a reasonable way.


What Does a Community Watch Area Look Like…

Watch areas do not all look the same.  They adapt to any kind of area, regardless of income levels or building types.   Although the type of area doesn’t affect the formation, it is important for members to clearly define the area they will observe.  Some areas will be defined geographically others based on common interests.  For example, parents whose children play in the park may form a Community Watch.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office offers the following Crime Prevention Programs.

Community Watch

Children Safety Programs

–          Stranger Safety
–          Gun Safety
–          Drug Awareness
–          Gang Awareness
–          Bike Safety Programs
–          School Safety Programs
–          Fatal Vision Programs
–          Child Fingerprinting Programs

Adult Safety Programs
–         ID Theft
–          Senior Watch
–          Work Place Safety
–          Rape Prevention
–          Female Self Defense Classes
–          Domestic Violence
–          Fraud and Telemarketing
–          Business Crime Prevention
–          Seniors and Law Enforcement Together

If you are interested in any of these Crime Prevention Programs, please call Deputy Charles Sayers at 336-917-7301 .  Deputy Sayers will be happy to assist you in any manner with these programs.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office For more information on Community Watch, visit the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention section.

Community Watch Guidelines


Disaster Preparedness

Family Disaster Supplies Kit

Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere.  By taking the time to create a family disaster kit, your family will be prepared in the event of a disaster.  The kit can also make children feel more secure in case there is an emergency.  Supplies can be kept in a plastic tub, small suitcase, or other container.  Some things to include:


  • First-aid kit and first-aid manual
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Supply of prescription medicines
  • Credit cards and cash
  • Identification for each family member
  • Extra set of car keys
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare
  • Phone numbers and map
  • Special needs items (diapers, formula, hearing aids, contacts, glasses, etc)
  • 3 gallons of water per person
  • Kitchen tools (mechanical can opener, utensils, etc)
  • Complete change of clothes for each family member
  • Tools and other accessories
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene products (toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes)
  • Entertainment (games, books, compact discs, magazines, etc)


Know the Facts:
On average, 1200 tornadoes cause 70 fatalities and 1500 injuries nationwide each year.  Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year.  In our region, tornadoes most often strike between 3 PM and 9 PM, March through May.
Safety Basics:
A tornado’s path of destruction can be more than 1 mile wide and 50 miles long.  It can devastate a neighborhood in seconds.  It’s important to know what to do before, during and after a tornado.
–          Know the safe places at home, work and school
–          Locate local shelters
–          Practice tornado drills
–          Have a plan for contacting family members during an emergency
–          Make sure children know phone numbers, addresses and the emergency plan
–          Prepare a family disaster supply kit/Prepare personal packs for children

During a Tornado Watch…
–          Remain inside, away from windows and doors
–          Listen to the radio or TV (Keep a battery-operated radio or NOAA weather radio)
–          Make sure family disaster supply kits/personal packs are complete
–          Be alert

During a Tornado Warning…
–          Listen to the radio and TV for updates/instructions
–          Take shelter immediately
–          Stay away from windows, corners, doors and outside walls
–          Be aware of flying debris
–          Move to a  basement/Crouch on the floor near an interior wall or under a heavy object such as a table
–          Bend over, place your arms on the back of your head and neck
–          If in a vehicle, get out and find shelter, a ditch or low-lying area
–          If outside, find shelter, ditch or low-lying area
–          If in manufactured home, move to another shelter with a strong foundation

–          Continue listening to the news and weather updates
–          Stay away from power lines and broken glass
–          Be aware of possible gas leaks or chemical spills
–          Stay out of damaged buildings

Holiday Safety


–    Use decorations that are nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.

–    Make sure artifical and metallic trees are flame-retardant.

–    Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excesive kinking or wear before putting them up.  Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.

–    Do not link more than three (3) light strands, unless directions indicated it is safe.  Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.  Be sure to periodically check the wires.  They should not be warm to the touch.

–    Do Not Leave Holiday Lights On Unattended




A cozy fire is nice, especially at the holidays.  Do not place wrapping paper or greenery in your fireplace.


Avoid using lit candles.  If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down.  Never leave the house with candles burning.

Toys & Gifts

Be careful when choosing toys for infants and small children.  Avoid toys with small parts that can be pulled or broken off.  Consider age differences when selecting gifts for several children in one family.

Older Adults

Slect gifts for older adults that are not too heavy or awkward to handle.  Choose books with large type for anyone with vision impairment.


Keep mistletoe, holly, berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis out of children’s reach.  These plants can cause severe stomach problems.

Food and Cooking

Wash hands, utensils, sink and aything else that comes in contact with raw pultry.  Remember a stuffed bird takes longer to cook.  For questions on preparing a holiday turkey, contact the USDA at 1-800-535-4555. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in covered shallow dishes within 2 hours of cooking.


The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for many.  It may be hard to avoid stress completely, but you can find some relief.  Allow enough time for shopping rather than hurrying through stores and parking lots.  Plan to do a reasonable number of errands.  When shopping, make several trips to the car to drop off packages instead of carrying too many items.  Take time out for yourself.  Relax, read, or enjoy your favorite hobby at your pace.

National Night Out

Join us for National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1st 6-8 PM at the picnic shelter at Covington Park.

Come out to meet your Community Policing Officers, Council members, local firefighters and neighbors!  Our new Town Manager, Megan Garner, will be with us as well.

Free hot dogs and chips courtesy of King’s Hot Dogs and FREE drinks courtesy of Town of Rural Hall.

Corn hole boards will be set up if you would like to challenge your neighbor to a friendly game.  The playground will also be open for the kiddos.

Don’t forget to turn on your porchlight that evening symbolizing your stand against crime.

For more information about National Night Out, you can contact Town Clerk Dora Moore at 336/969-6856 or


National Night Out, ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime,’ is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and is observed the first Tuesday in August.  The first National Night Out was held in 1984.  Nationwide, 2.5 million Americans participated in the 1984 event.  Since 1984, the event has grown to involve more than 34 million people in over 10,000 communities from all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

Rural Hall first participated in National Night Out in 2005.  Two block parties were held on National Night Out with two more held in the following weeks.  Despite the intense summer heat, events have been held each year since 2005.

National Night Out is designed to:  1) heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; 2) generate support for and participation in local anticrime efforts; 3) strengthen neighborhood spirit; and, 4) send a message to criminals that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Visit the National Night Out website for more information.  To organize an event for your neighborhood, contact Dora at Town Hall at (336)969-6856 or via email.

Meth Labs

Meth, poor man’s cocaine, crystal meth, ice, glass and speed are common street terms for methamphetamine (meth).  Meth has become the most dangerous drug problem of small-town America. Our country’s most rural areas see the trafficking and distribution of the drug.  Twelve to fourteen year olds living in small towns are 104% more likely to use meth than those who live in larger cities.

It’s cheap and easy to make – that’s why meth is a threat to rural America.  Over-the-counter drugs are mixed with other common ingredients to make meth.  Small labs for cooking can be set up on tables, countertops, or in garages.  Even though superlabs supply the majority of meth, smaller tabletop labs have increased substantially in the last decade, setting an alarming trend.  The internet providing “recipes” coupled with higher demand have resulted in a dramatic increase in mom-and-pop operations throughout the United States.  In 2001, the number of labs with capacities under 10 pounds totaled over 7,700.

So, how do we reclaim our towns?  The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recommends a three-fold approach:

Enforcement:  Dismantling of meth trafficking organizations, superlabs and mom-and-pop operations is crucial.  At the federal level, DEA goes after the major traffickers.  At the local level, DEA trains local and state law enforcement agents to spot and safely seize the smaller operations.  DEA also assists with clean-up costs of the labs.

Community Engagement and Prevention:  Drug use prevention is the first step.  Schools, churches, businesses and, most importantly, families need to be aware of meth dangers.  Parents should never assume their children understand the risks.  Businesses can host drug-testing programs and retail stores can control the volume of precursor chemicals being sold.

Follow-up:  Meth is extremely addictive, with some experts saying your hooked after one use.  It’s not enough jailing traffickers, but we most heal the addicts.


United States Drug Enforcement Administration United States Drug Enforcement Administration

Minnesota Department of Health


Stop Stop

KCI – The anti-Meth Site KCI – The Anti-Meth Site

Colorado Department of Transportation

The Craig Daily Press The Craif Daily Press

Epidemiology of North Carolina

Substance Abuse Resources


How to Reduce Your Risk of Being Burglarized

Lock all doors and windows whenever you leave your home, even if you’ll be gone only a few minutes.  Skilled burglars can be in and out within 2 minutes.  They watch you leave and enter your home as soon as you turn the corner.  When you return 5 minutes later, the thief is long gone with your valuables.  Don’t forget to close your upstairs windows; as many as 15% to 20% of all burglaries involve 2nd floor entry.

Add keyed locks to all double-hung windows.  The common window latch doesn’t deter a thief.  You can purchase window locks at most home improvement stores.

Use timer-activated indoor lighting when you are away in the evening to simulate your normal at-home activity pattern.  Darkness-activated lighting is only good if it turns off after a few hours. 

Dead bolt all entry doors with bolts having at least a full 1-inch extension.  Secure each dead bolt strike plate with screws that penetrate at least 3-inches into the framing.  Wherever glass is within arm’s reach of the lock, use a key dead bolt.  Be sure to keep the key where you and your family can readily get to it during a fire or other emergency, but not where a burglar can see or reach it through a window. 

Bar sliding patio doors by laying a broomstick or other strong, solid object in the track.  Drive a couple of screws into the header so the door cannot be lifted out of its track. 

Install outdoor motion sensor lights and mount them high enough that a prowler can’t unscrew the bulb.

Home security systems can help in notifying law enforcement officials of a problem, and ensures you will know if someone has entered your home while you are asleep.  It can also startle a thief, encouraging him to leave.  It will also alert your neighbors, who might see the suspect and be able to give a description to the police.


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