Crime Prevention Tips for the Holiday Season
With the holiday season upon us, most people are preoccupied with the details of holiday planning and shopping. Unfortunately, the safety precautions we normally take can be forgotten as the excitement of the season causes us to let our guard down. The Canton Police Department wants this to be a safe holiday season for all, so we remind you to follow these simple tips while you enjoy the City and the season!
Leaving the house for a bit? Be sure to lock your doors and windows! Don't leave the drapes open with your presents in plain view. Christmas presents displayed around your tree can be a pretty sight, but can also be quite tempting to burglars. It's better to scatter the gifts around the house, in closets or cupboards, where they can't be so easily seen.
Out of town for the holidays? If you are leaving town for the holidays, make sure your home appears occupied. Leave inside and outside lights on timers and have your neighbors pick up newspapers, mail, and take flyers off your door. Ask neighbors to park in your driveway. Put a timer on a talk radio station for several hours a day.
Going shopping? During this time, many of us will be busy shopping and running errands. We must not forget that criminals will also be out and about looking for easy targets to make a big score. When shopping, place your packages in the trunk of your car to keep them out of sight. Keep your car locked at all times. Be sure and make several trips to your car to deposit packages in the trunk. Don't allow yourself to become so burdened down with packages that you become a tempting target. When walking through parking lots, be sure that you are aware of your surroundings. Walk with authority. Don't look like a victim!
Out and about? Be aware that thieves and pickpockets are also at their busiest during the holiday season. Ladies, don't dangle your handbag from your shoulder. You are creating a perfect opportunity for a purse snatcher. Instead, keep your purse tucked tightly under your arm. Better yet, don't even carry a purse. Place your checkbook, cash, or credit cards in your front pockets. Avoid carrying your checkbook, cash, and credit cards all together in one wallet, because if a thief gets the whole package together, they can cash checks with your identification and run up a large credit card bill in a short amount of time.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be wary of burglars, thieves, pickpockets, and other holiday grinches. Nothing can ruin the holiday spirit faster than becoming the victim of a crime. But remember, just by using a little planning and some good common sense, most holiday crimes can be avoided.