Christmas Season Crime Prevention
“Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men” is an attitude that bubbles to the surface every Christmas Season. However, not everyone feels the same way. Unfortunately, crime does not take a break during the Christmas Season. Christmas brings out the best and worst in people as we get caught up in the trappings of the season. Criminals use this time of year as an opportunity to more easily take what they want. Unfortunately, when we get distracted by the hurry and flurry of the season, we can often times help them with their task.
This Christmas, reduce your chance of becoming a victim by following a few tried and true (though often overlooked) crime prevention tips.
Home Security and Crime Prevention
When you’re going to Grandma’s house (or anywhere else), remember to lock all your doors and windows. In fact, even when you're home, keep doors and windows locked. And don't open the door to strangers knocking at the door. Talk to them through the door.
If you’re going to be away from home even for a day or two, don’t let the criminals know you’re away...
- Keep some indoor lights on and maybe even a radio or TV.
- Have a neighbor or friend pick up mail or packages.
- Leave outside lights on or install motion-sensing lights.
- Don’t post on any social media site that you’re on your way to Grandma’s house.
Don’t display gifts where criminals outside can see them through the window.
Related Post: "How to Keep Your Safe Home While You are on Vacation"
Shopping and Crime Prevention
Don’t carry large amounts of money. And keep your money money in a front pocket. Only carry one or two credit cards and make sure you secure them after use.
Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. In addition, shop with friends or relatives, because there is safety in numbers.
When making a purchase at a store or restaurant, hide the number on your credit or debit card from people around you. If a server/merchant takes your card out of your sight, inspect it as soon as it is returned to be sure it is your card.
Don’t leave your purse or wallet unattended (even for a few seconds). In fact, don’t carry a purse at all, if possible. Leave it at home or locked in your trunk.
Parking Your Car
Always park where there is plenty of light between your car and the store. Even if it’s light when you enter the mall, it may be dark when you come out. Also, when you're walking through parking lots, be aware of your surroundings. Remember where you parked your car!
Before leaving your vehicle, make sure there isn't anything of value in sight, including cell phones, GPS units, and holiday purchases. Put packages in the trunk. If you don’t have a trunk, keep valuables out of sight by covering them or placing them on the floorboards or under the seat.
Related Post: "4 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Victim: Parking Lot Safety"
Never purchase anything from unlicensed solicitors in stores or their parking lots. If you are approached by a solicitor and have any questions, contact store security or call the police immediately.
Always be aware both inside and outside the store/mall! Pay attention to everyone around you. Stay alert to anyone who may be following you while you are shopping.
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.
When You Leave the Store
Keep your car locked and have your keys in hand before you leave the store. When you approach your car pay close attention to anyone in the area and who is parked next to you.
Never hesitate to call security or the police if you feel uncomfortable about any situation or if something “just doesn't look right.”
Related Post: "Shopping Safety Tips for Black Friday"
Have a Safe and Joyous Christmas Season
Chances are crime prevention is the last thing on most people’s Christmas lists right now. This year, give crime prevention an extra effort so the Christmas Season can be safe and enjoyable for all.
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