Crime Prevention Tips For the Holiday Season

When shopping:
  • When parking your vehicle to go shopping, remember where you parked it! Always park in a well-lit and well-traveled area. Do not park in a remote dark area.
  • When you return to your vehicle, scan the interior of your car to be sure no one is hiding inside. Check to see if you are being followed.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. You will be ready to unlock the door and will not be delayed by fumbling and looking for your keys.
  • When storing items purchased at the stores, place them out of sight. The best place is in a locked trunk.
  • Do not leave your purse, wallet, or cellular telephone in plain view.
  • Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket. EVEN WHEN YOU ARE GROCERY SHOPPING!!!
  • Don't resist if someone tries to take any of your belongings. Don't chase someone who robs you, they may have a weapon. Instead call 911.
  • Lock your vehicle and put up your windows even while you are driving.
  • If you go to an automatic teller machine for cash, check for people around and make sure it is well lit and in a safe location.
  • Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • If you make a purchase with your credit card, be sure to obtain the carbons or see that they are destroyed in front of you.
  • Beware of the "a good deal" scams. Things are not always what they appear to be.
  • If you are purchasing toys for small children, be sure that they are safe. You will be surprised what a small child can swallow or what can injure them.
  • Drive defensively. Traffic is heavier during the holidays. Drivers may also have indulged in toomuch holiday spirits.
For the Home/Apartment:
  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
  • Don’t openly display your tree and gifts in the front window so they are easily visible from the street. It’s too tempting for a potential criminal to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages…or plan a later break-in based on their earlier observation.
  • Don’t advertise…burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, mail, or advertising flyers hanging on the door knob.
  • Use an inexpensive light timer when you are away and ask a neighbor to pick up your newspapers and mail. If you are going away for the Holidays you can stop your mail online at https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/.
  • If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or apartment appears to be occupied.
  • Be mindful of burning candles and too many lights plugged into outlets/extension cords (#4 and #5 on the Top 10 Causes of House Fires)
  • Burglars know to look for the hidden door key near the front entrance. Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors or windows. A holiday problem can occur when exterior Christmas light extension cords are run inside through a window and prevent it from being secured.
  • Don’t post your family name on your mailbox or on you house. A burglar can call directory assistance to get your telephone number and call your home while in front of your house to confirm that you are away.
  • Don’t leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like, “You’ve reached the Wilson’s…we’re away skiing for the Holidays…please leave a message.” Bad guys love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and completely ransack your home.
  • The day after opening presents, don’t pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo receiver on the street for the garbage man. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break the boxes down or cut them up to conceal the items better.

One final thought – please DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE… No one wants to lose a loved one during the holidays! Please be safe and designate a driver or call a
cab.

Thank you and have a safe and joyous Holiday season!
UPD