As the Christmas holiday approaches we know that many of our residents will be traveling out of town to visit family and friends. We would like to remind all citizens of some basic safety tips that can help keep you and your valuables safe and may keep you from becoming a victim of crime.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips
· If you are planning an extended trip home – take your valuables with you if you can
· Make sure your home looks lived in since most burglars want to avoid confrontation
· Stop mail and newspapers or ask a friend or neighbor to make daily collections
· Hide empty garbage cans or ask a neighbor to move your container to the curb and bring it in after collection
· Leave shades and blinds in normal positions
· Put automatic timer on lights and radios (preferably a talk radio show).
· If possible have neighbors randomly park their vehicle in your driveway
· Leave a key with trusted neighbor
· Do not hide keys in a mailbox, under a doormat or planter or anywhere outside
· Store valuables in safe deposit box or take smaller items with you
· Make a record of the serial numbers for your valuable items and take the list with you, store it in your safe deposit box or send the information to your personal email account
· Engrave your driver’s license number or an unique identifying mark on the back of all electronics and computers
· Lock all windows and doors
· Double lock windows with inexpensive key locks you can purchase at the store
· Double check garage doors before you leave (unplug or disarm automatic garage door openers if possible)
· If you are leaving a vehicle at home – do not leave your garage door opener in your vehicle.
· Lock gate to fenced back yards
· Don’t advertise your plans to strangers or on social media outlets
If you plan on staying home here are some safety tips:
· Make sure all doors and windows are locked
o Check all locks each evening before you go to sleep
o Make sure that all locks are functioning properly
· Request a home security check from your local law enforcement agency
· Leave lights on a timer if you plan to return home late in the evening
· Meet your neighbors
o Watch out for each other
· Report all suspicious activity to local law enforcement immediately
o If it is something that you think is odd or out of the ordinary - please do not be afraid to call
· Do not open your door for people that you do not know
Good locks, simple precautions, neighborly alertness and common sense can help prevent most property crimes.
Here are some safety tips when out shopping:
· Park in well-lit areas
· Shop with a friend or family member, it is safer and more fun.
· If you’re shopping with large amounts of cash, spread it out in two locations. For example your purse and wallet or your pocket and hand bag.
· Always keep your purse and wallet on you; never leave it unattended in the shopping basket.
· Keep your receipts separate from your merchandise bags in case they are stolen; you will have proof of purchase and ownership.
· Don’t let the customer behind you make you feel rushed. Take the time to put your money and receipts away before leaving the counter.
· Have your keys ready when you leave the store, so you are not distracted while digging for them.
· Put the purchased items in your trunk. Don’t leave them exposed on your seats in the vehicle or the rear of an SUV. Keep the purchased items covered up.
· Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to report suspicious activity in the parking lot or store, call 911.
· Make sure you always lock you vehicle when you get in it or when you walk away from it.
Hear It - See It - Report It
The safety of our community does not have borders. It is the goal of every law enforcement agency to protect the citizens that we serve. Be the eyes and ears of your police department. When you see suspicious activity call 911 or contact the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600, the Texas A&M University Police Department at 979-845-2345, or the Bryan Police Department and the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office at 979-361-3888. Together we can make a difference in our community.