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. Use a pin-drop feature on a smart phone to mark where you park.
When you return to your vehicle, scan your car to be sure no one is hiding inside or underneath the vehicle. Check to see if you are being followed.
Avoid being pre-occupied while walking to your vehicle. Keep your head up and walk with confidence.
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 in your vehicle.
Keep a wallet and phone in your front trouser pocket.
Don't resist if someone tries to take any of your belongings. Don't chase someone who robs you, instead call 911.
Lock your vehicle and roll up your windows even while you are driving.
If you go to an automatic teller machine check your surroundings and make sure it is well lit and in a safe location.
Check the ATM for external “skimmers” or devices that copy your credit card information.
Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
Drive defensively as traffic is heavier during the holidays. Drivers may have also indulged in too much holiday spirits.
For the Home/Apartment:
Always lock 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 and merchandise boxes such as TV, Computers, etc.
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 (two of the leading 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.
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 trash pick-up. 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.
When packing your vehicle for the holidays, never leave your vehicle unsecured or unattended between loads. Do not leave valuable items in plain sight.