Thursday, November 7, 2013

How To Prevent Crime During the Holidays

This is a reminder from the Commander of the 2nd Police District, Dave Falcinelli, about how to prevent crime during the busy holiday season.

As the holidays are quickly approaching, it is important to remember that many criminals view this time of year as an opportunity for them to ply their trade. I ask that each of you once again review the following information and use good common sense and judgment to help prevent you from becoming the victim of a crime.


If you are one to brave the malls during the holidays, please remember the following:
1.       Limit the amount of cash you carry and do not readily display it when making purchases.
2.       Place any items purchased in your locked trunk. If you cannot do this, then cover them up with a blanket to deter a break-in.
3.       Remove all gifts and other valuables from your car immediately upon getting home. You may be exhausted but you need to bring them inside to a secured area.
4.       Look for suspicious people in parking garages and call security or the police immediately.

If you let your fingers do the shopping on-line, you still need to take precautions:

1.       Be sure you are shopping at reputable sites. If a deal seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam to get your credit card information.
2.       Arrange for deliveries during times you will be home or leave instructions for the packages to be delivered to a trusted neighbor. Packages that are left unattended on front porches are an invitation to be stolen.


Whether you are going away for a week, a weekend or just overnight, you need to make sure that your house appears to be occupied to deter burglars from choosing your home.

1.       Place indoor and outdoor lights/televisions/radios on timers set for different times of the day and night.
2.       Make sure mail and newspaper/mail delivery is cancelled or picked up by a neighbor on a daily basis.
3.       Put gifts away so a burglar looking into your window will see nothing and move on to another house.
4.       Lock your cars and remove all valuables including any garage door openers.
                        5.   Lock the garage door and the door leading from the garage to
                              the house.


Do not fall prey to scam charities trying to take advantage of your holiday goodwill.

1.        Ask the caller to provide you with their name, address, telephone and tax ID#, so you can call them back if you decide to make a donation.
2.        Do not answer the door if you are not comfortable doing so. Ask the solicitor to display his license or leave literature on the porch for you to review later.
3.        Call the police if you encounter any suspicious people in your neighborhood.

General safety

1.       Cell phone usage during driving is now a primary offense. Please pay attention to the road.
2.       Watch for pedestrians, especially now that we are losing daylight.
3.       Use a designated driver or a taxi if you are celebrating with alcohol.

Be safe and have a happy holiday!