Nothing can ruin the holiday spirit faster than becoming a victim of crime. Unfortunately, the holiday season is a time of opportunity for thieves to burglarize your home for cash, credit cards and gifts. As we make plans to spend time with families and friends this season, please remember some important crime prevention steps for a safer season:
Prevent theft from your vehicle:
- Always lock your car, and park in a well-lit and well-traveled area.
- Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle, ready to unlock the door.
- When storing items purchased at the stores, place them out of sight. The best place is in your locked trunk. And, of course, do not leave your purse, wallet, or cell phone in plain view.
Financial card and online shopping considerations:
- 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.
- Keep your personal information private and your password secure. Do not respond to requests to verify your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner.
Home security and safety tips:
- Don’t display wrapped boxes under a lighted tree in the front window for thieves to see as they drive past your home.
- Don’t pile up empty gift boxes from your new computers, flat panel televisions, DVD players and other electronics in front of your home on garbage day. Thieves will appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts inside your home for them to steal. Instead, break boxes down and conceal the advertising when setting them out for recycling.
- Do NOT post your activities (gifts or plans to be away from home) on social media pages.
- Report any suspicious activity to the police or local community watch groups.
Our best to you and yours this holiday season!