BPD E-TIP: Don’t be a victim this holiday season!
Every year we have crimes committed in retail stores, shopping center parking lots, and in our homes. By following these tips we can reduce the probability of our home, vehicle, and/or loved ones from being targeted by criminals. Remember that criminals are opportunists; don’t give them the opportunity to take away this season’s cheer. Stay alert at all times.
Follow these prevention tips while in the parking lot…
- Avoid parking in dark areas, park under well-lit areas close to store entrances.
- Remove keys from purse/pocket before walking out to the parking lot.
- Ask to be escorted by security when possible.
- Keep all vehicle doors and windows closed while in or out of your vehicle.
- Don’t leave valuables visible in your vehicle, store them in your trunk before you arrive at your destination.
- Don’t leave gifts in your car and return to shop, criminals will be watching and take the opportunity to commit a vehicle burglary.
Follow these prevention tips while shopping…
- Shop with friends or family; avoid shopping alone especially at night. It is recommended that when possible shop during daylight hours.
- Use smaller purses with zippers and long shoulder straps that can be hung over your shoulder and across your body.
- Never leave purse in shopping cart or place it down, it takes seconds for thieves to grab it.
- Wallets should be carried in front pockets and avoid having large amounts of cash.
- Take only what you need. Decide your form of payment before going shopping and limit the amount of cash, credit cards, and checks you take.
- Make sure to write down credit card information just in case you need to report it lost or stolen.
- Avoid wearing flashy and expensive jewelry.
- Wear comfortable clothes AND shoes. Should you be in a dangerous situation you want to be able to remove yourself as fast as possible.
Follow these prevention tips in your home…
- Never leave your car on and unattended.
- Never leave valuables such as MP3 players, cell phones, GPS Navigation Systems, or work items in the car. If it doesn’t belong to the vehicle removing it is the safest bet.
- Remove your garage door opener from your vehicle. This can give criminals access to your personal belongings and possibly your home.
- Place your Christmas tree in an area of your home that is not visible to the public/street. Remember that criminals know that valuables are under the tree.
- Close the blinds/curtains at night to ensure criminals cannot walk up and see the gifts you have purchased.
- Hide the evidence of all the great gifts you received. By placing our gift’s boxes outside we are promoting to criminals all the valuables your home has acquired during this holiday season. Make sure to cut down the gift’s boxes and place them in black plastic bags to discard.