The holidays are a time of joy for most of us. But the holidays are a prime time for residential crime, especially with the downturn in the overall economy. You can help prevent holiday tragedies by remembering these crime prevention tips.

Holiday Shopping

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Never display the cash you carry.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dark or secluded areas where you could become a crime victim. Park in a well lighted area as close as possible to an entrance.
  • Put all packages in the trunk. Do not place packages or bags on the seat or on the floor of your vehicle, where prying eyes can see them.
  • Be sure your vehicle is in good operating condition and has plenty of fuel.
  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times.
  • Keep your purse closed and carry it securely under your arm. Never place your purse on a counter, leave it in your shopping cart, or let your children or grandchildren carry it.

Holiday Travel

  • Be sure all your property is marked.
  • Ask a neighbor to watch your home while you are away, and to pick up mail and package deliveries. Make sure neighbors have a phone number so they can reach you in an emergency.
  • Set automatic timers to activate your lights and other appliances to give your home an occupied look.
  • Be sure your home is locked and that the shades, blinds, and draperies are in their normal position.

Home for the Holidays

  • Do not place gifts and other valuables where they can be seen by someone looking in from outside your home.
  • Keep your doors and deadbolts locked at all times, even when someone is at home.
  • Never let a stranger enter your home.
  • Do not leave notes outside to indicate that you are away from home.
  • Don’t advertise your new microwave, stereo, or TV by leaving the empty boxes at the curb. Put all discarded gift boxes in trash bags.
  • A keychain whistle or panic alarm and deadbolt locks make excellent holiday gifts