Tips for a Safe Holiday Season

You can prevent crime by keeping your car safe from break‐ins and thefts.

  • Park in well‐lit, traveled areas 
  • Keep valuables and gifts out of sight in the trunk, and do not to leave them in the vehicle for long periods of time 
  • Don’t leave your keys in the car while it is running 
  • Use a steering‐wheel lock and/or car alarm to make your vehicle less attractive to thieves 
  • Ensure your doors are locked (and windows on child‐lock) once everyone is inside to avoid unwanted visitors from entering your vehicle.

You can prevent crime by keeping your home safe from break‐ins.

  • Keep any ladders used for putting lights up away from the home so criminals cannot use them to climb up to your windows
  • Do not display gifts in a window or doorway
  • Properly dispose of gift packaging and boxes. Do not leave these outside for all to see, as this will advertise the contents of your home to thieves. Put inside garbage bags or take directly to recycling depots.

You can prevent crime by securing your home before you go away.

  • Make sure your home looks lived in: Put lights, radios and TVs on variable timers. Have someone stay inside your home for a while each day if possible.
  • Have a trusted neighbor/friend/family member check on your home daily, collect your mail, and shovel your walks.
  • If you're leaving a vehicle outside your house, have someone move its position periodically, to make it appear as if it is being used.
  • Lock‐up tools, BBQs and ladders and make sure they are out of sight; set and test your timers; lock and check doors and windows; and leave shades and blinds in normal positions.  
  • Turn off the telephone ringer so no one knows your home is empty (and don't leave outgoing phone or e‐mail messages saying you are away).

You can prevent crime by shopping safely.

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
  • Keep cash in your front pocket.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
  • Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.