Officials warn the season of giving is also the season of stealing
Authorities are warning the season of giving is also the season of stealing.
The South Salt Lake Police Department is reminding shoppers of a few simple and easy ways to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday season.
Safety precautions at home:
– Make sure all doors and windows have secondary locks (window pins, deadbolts, dowels, etc.) and use them.
– Ensure that dark areas and entrances have outdoor lights that are turned on after dark or that are activated by sensors.
– Place gifts where they can’t be seen from the outside.
– Avoid opening the door to strangers. Legitimate delivery people will be able to show identification.
– Investigate charities before donating by calling the Secretary of State’s office or the charity’s main office.
– Be sure to mail cards with money, checks or gift certificates from the Post Office or a blue US Postal Service collection box.
– If traveling, use timers for lights and radios while you’re away. Ask a trusted friend, neighbor or Block Watch member to watch your home. Remember to make arrangements for mail and newspapers.
– Alarm System: Use them if you have them.
– Networking with Neighbors: Talk to your neighbors, know who belongs in your neighborhood.
– Senior Citizens: Keep an eye on the elderly in your Neighborhood. The holiday season is tough on the elderly.
Safety precautions when shopping:
– Be ALERT and AWARE of your surroundings. Pay attention to who is around you and what activities are happening. Don’t leave the safety of a building or your vehicle until you have ensured all is secure and safe.
– Trust your instincts; if you feel uncomfortable with a place or person(s), get away.
– Park in a well-lit area.
– Remember to lock your vehicle. Keep vehicle doors and windows locked while you are in it and especially when you are not. Use anti-theft steering wheel clubs or locks as well. A thief is looking for easy targets; anything you can do to deter them from choosing your car, the better.
– Minimize the number of valuables left in your vehicle and keep valuables, electronics (including cell phones and DVDs), gifts and other “theft attractors” out of sight.
– Protect your purse or wallet and clean out any unnecessary items before leaving home.
– Don’t carry large amounts of cash or extra credit cards. Carry only those cards that you will need to use that day.
– Keep a master list of all cards so if your wallet is stolen, they can be reported promptly to the appropriate banking facility.
– Never leave your purse, wallet or cell phone unattended in a public place.
– Shop with a buddy – there is safety in numbers.
– Role-play with children about what should happen in the event you are separated.
– Have your keys out and ready when you return to your vehicle.
– Do not leave your car unattended with the motor running or with the keys in the ignition – even for the very short time needed to do a quick errand or pay for fuel.
– Only make online purchases from trusted, secure websites. Look for “https” in the web address to verify security.