Thank you to South Patrol's Officer Vince Stehlin for these holiday safety tips. It's a worthwhile read.
Holiday Safety Tips for Crime Prevention
The holidays are approaching and, every year, we see an increase in street robberies from now through Christmas. Now, more than ever, is the time to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to reduce your chances of becoming a robbery victim...
- Always look around and know what is happening in your vicinity, whether you are walking or driving. Be aware of your surroundings
- When walking, walk with a purpose. Don’t give the impression that you are wandering aimlessly or not paying attention. Walk like you have somewhere to get and you don’t have time to stop for anyone.
- When walking, make eye contact with everyone that you pass. That lets them know that you have noticed them and can probably describe them, so if they have criminal intentions, they are likely to wait for the next “victim.”
- Don’t get lost looking at your phone or carrying on a conversation. It’s best not to have ear buds in that will keep you from hearing what is happening around you.
- When driving, leave space between your car and the car in front of you when at a stop light or stopped in traffic. If you must accelerate quickly you don’t want to be boxed in by stopping too close to the car in front of you.
- When driving and almost home, call ahead and have someone meet you outside and at least watch you park and go in the house.
- When approaching your residence or garage pay attention to people in the area. Especially when driving up an alley to park in your garage. If you see anyone, drive past your garage and go around the block. If they are still there when you return call 9-1-1.
- Make sure your front/rear yards are well lighted as well as the area behind your garage. Motion lights in hallways are also a beneficial tool.
- If approached by a robber, the best advice is still to do what they say, except NEVER get into a car with them. Give them the property they ask for. This is the best chance to escape unharmed.
- NEVER get into a car with a robber. Fight in any way that you can… kick, bite, punch, grab, pull, scratch, scream, shout, etc. Use your keys as a weapon by holding them in the palm of your hand so the key blades are facing outward and punch toward the eyes. Use pepper spray if you have it. Use your firearm, just be careful so that the robber doesn’t try to disarm you and turn the weapon on you.
- Do NOT leave valuables in open view in your car. Put them in the trunk or take them along with you. This is the time of the year when thieves do their own form of "window shopping." They look in parked cars for gifts and other merchandise, and they will break through car windows to get at such valuables. It takes only a few seconds for a criminal to break into your car. So, remember when you leave your car, leave it empty.
- Don't advertise expensive toys, electronics, or other gifts received by the boxes left for garbage collections. Compress large boxes and place them in black garbage bags for pick-up.
Avoid Porch Theft: 5 Tips to Protect Your Packages
- Network with Neighbors
- Have Packages Delivered to Work
- Leave Specific Drop-off Instructions
- Install Security Cameras