Defense Against Crime

22/12/2012

Law Enforcement Christmas Safety Tips

blkfriday2As Christmas shopping season approaches, your local Police Department wishes to assure you and your neighbors that we are taking measures to combat and prevent the types of criminal activity which occur this time each year. We also wish to stress the importance of citizens doing their part to protect themselves by not presenting opportunities for criminals to ruin your holiday.

Where ever possible, additional officers will be on high-visibility patrol around shopping areas, banks, and the like. They will also be available to provide bank escorts for businesses that request them.

A particular problem this time of year is theft from automobiles and residential burglaries. These are the most preventable crimes. If citizens remove the opportunity, the crime is less likely to occur, and some types cannot occur at all.

At Home:

  • Make sure to keep doors and windows locked.
  • Turn on outside lights at night.
  • Report persons or vehicles roaming your neighborhood, day or night so police may check them. They may be simply looking at Christmas lights, or they may be “casing” houses to burglarize.
  • Place your tree where the gifts will be less visible from outside. Thieves like window-shopping through your windows.
  • After Christmas, don’t put the empty boxes out on the curb. This makes it easy for burglars to decide which houses to burglarize (ie: new computers, TVs, electronics, video games…). Break down boxes and put them in the trash, making sure to save all paperwork. Also remember many electronic devices require original boxes for warranty repair.
  • Immediately make an inventory listing the model and serial numbers of new items (and old ones if you haven’t already) and engrave personal markings on them

If Leaving Home (On a trip or just for a little while):

  • Make it look like you are still there.
  • If you have an Alarm System – USE IT
  • Timers on exterior lights, interior lights, and TVs will help make it look like you are home. Don’t leave an answering machine message saying you are gone, in fact turning it off would be better. If you have the call forwarding option on your phone use that.
  • Double check Locks on all doors and windows, including second floors and garages. The doors should have dead-bolts; key locks for windows are also available.
  • Have a Trusted Neighbor pick up mail, papers, and ads, put out your trash can, and park in your driveway. Give them emergency and cell numbers to reach you.
  • Call the police department to request a periodic residence check (“Keep-A-Check”) while you are away.
  • When you return, look around outside first. If you see any evidence of a break-in, do not go inside. Go to a neighbor’s house and call police. The burglars could still be inside.

While Shopping or Going Out: 

  • Secure valuables out of sight in your trunk. BUT, Be aware that many cars now have fold-down seats or a remote trunk release inside the car. These conveniences make your trunk vulnerable to thieves willing to break a window.
  • If at a mall or a shopping center, periodically go to the car and lock away purchases so they will not “disappear” when you put them down trying-on clothes or at the food court.
  • Safeguard your purse, wallet, bank cards, and personal information. Identity thieves thrive in this environment.
    • Keep close tabs on your children while shopping. With so many people it is easy for them to become lost. Make sure they
  • Know their full name, your full name, address, phone, and your cell or pager number to reach you if you get separated.
    insist children hold your hand in parking lots. Drivers won’t see them if they run ahead or behind you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings going to your car, going into and out of your house, and while at the ATM.

DON’T DRINK and DRIVE

 

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