Press Release

 

Countywide - Holiday Crime Prevention Tips
11/21/2012 8:05:00 AM

 

Nature of Incident:

Holiday Crime Prevention Tips

Date:

Nov. 20, 2012

Narrative:

The holiday season is a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people are often preoccupied, and may become the target of criminals.

A little bit of awareness can go a long way to prevent being the victim of criminal activity. We encourage you to share this information with family, friends, and neighbors.

Holiday Tips At Home

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
  • Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
  • Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.

Strangers at Your Door

  • Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
  • It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes even when no charity is involved.
  • Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.
  • Donate to a recognized charitable organization.

Hosting a Party

  • Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
  • Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests.
  • Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink at all.

Attending a Party

  • Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat high protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system.
  • Remember only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body.
  • Know your safe limit.
  • Never drink and drive.

Driving

  • Avoid driving alone or at night.
  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
  • If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
  • Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
  • Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
  • Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
  • Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
  • When approaching and leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
  • Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.

Shopping

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Dress casually and comfortably.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
  • Always carry your California Driver License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
  • 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 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.

Children

  • If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
  • Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
  • Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
  • Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone, and they should never be left alone in the car.
  • Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security.
  • Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a mall or a well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
  • Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office wishes you a safe, happy, and peaceful holiday season.

 

Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Sgt. Eric Buschow

Media Release Date:

Nov. 20, 2012

Follow-Up Contact:

Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129

Approved by:

Captain Jerry Hernandez




 

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