Holiday Safety Tips

 

This holiday season, don’t let the spirit of giving lull you into giving criminals a better chance to do their dirty work.  The Los Angeles Police Department offers safety tips below to consider during the holiday season and year around!

If You Are Traveling:

  • Get an automatic timer for your lights.
  • Ask a neighbor to watch your home.
  • Don’t forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it’s a sure sign you’re gone.

If You Are Out for the Evening

  • Turn on lights and a radio or TV so it looks like someone’s home.
  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  • Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from outside.

If You Are Shopping

  • Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
  • Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
  • Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers.
  • Don’t overburden yourself with packages.
  • Be extra careful with purses and wallets.
  • Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps.
  • Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.

Protect Your Vehicle

  • Always lock your vehicle and store all items out of sight.
  • Breaking into an empty car isn’t worth a thief’s time. However, anything left in plain view—from your holiday gifts to spare change, sunglasses, cell phones, packages or briefcases—may tempt a thief.
  • Help prevent your vehicle from being stolen by always locking your car and using anti-theft devices.
  • Never leave your vehicle running while you run inside your home or a store—even if for only a minute or two.

If a Stranger Comes to the Door

  • Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts, so be cautious when accepting a package.
  • It is not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of others’ generosity during the holidays by going door-to-door for charitable donations when there’s no charity involved.
  • Ask for identification, and find out how the funds will be used. If you aren’t satisfied, don’t give.

Be vigilant and be safe!

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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