Dec 10, 2015 12:40 PM by News Staff
The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, including criminals. If you’re leaving town for the holidays, be sure to read over these tips from local law enforcement officials.
If you’re leaving town, take valuable with you. Laptops, tablets, gaming systems and other small items are easily stolen.
Never leave valuables visible from windows. Lock all windows and doors, even if you’re leaving for a short time. Unlocked windows and doors are the most common entry point for thieves.
Place a “vacation hold” on mail and newspapers, or have a trusted neighbor pick them up daily.
Write down or photograph the serial numbers of your valuable. Even if police recover your items, they may not be able to prove they are yours without a serial number.
Place your lights on a timer to make your home look occupied.
Do not keep a spare key hidden outside, thieves know where to look.
Never post about leaving town on a social media site.
Thieves are also known to take advantage of the crowds at malls and other public areas during the holiday season. Follow these tips from the Redding Police Department to avoid becoming a victim of theft while doing your holiday shopping.
If you must carry a purse, never leave it unattended in your shopping cart. The safest place to carry it is draped over your shoulder.
Valuables left in a vehicle should be concealed. The trunk is the preferred storage area. It’s a good idea to park in an area of the parking lot with adequate lighting, as close to the store as possible.
Concealed carry handgun permit holders should refrain from leaving handguns in unattended vehicles.
Think like a thief! Certain places are magnets to thieves. For example, if someone watches you walk into a movie theater, chances are you won’t be returning to your vehicle for at least two hours. Drop those hard earned valuables off at home first.
Aggressive panhandlers will sometimes try to step between you and your vehicle. Turn around and go back into the store, or approach other shoppers for assistance. Ask for a store employee to escort you to your car if there are suspicious people loitering in the parking lot.
If you are in a giving mood, make sure you donate money to a trusted charity. There are many scam artists who pretend to be affiliated with charitable organizations.
Most of all, be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. Please report suspicious people to the police department.