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The holiday season is a wonderfully magical
time of year. With all the colorful holiday lights,
joyful music, sounds of laughter and feelings of good will, it’s
easy to forget that we may
become a victim of a crime. Falling victim to crime can happen
to anyone at anytime. While
there are no guarantees, that you won’t be a victim of crime,
there are things you can do to
avoid being an easy target. The following suggestions are offered
to assist you or your
• Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you
leave home, even for a
few minutes. Make sure all doors close easily and lock securely.
• When leaving home for an extended time, ask a family member
or trusted neighbor to
watch your house, pick up your newspaper and mail, and accept any
• Indoor and outdoor lights and a radio should be left operated
by an automatic timer so
your home looks and sounds occupied when you are away.
• Home displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through
the windows or doors.
• Engrave all personal property with your California Drivers
License or California ID
number. Photograph or videotape the items you cannot engrave. An
available from OPD by calling (510) 986-2715.
• Do not leave packages or any other items in plain view on
the seat of your car.
• Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or
with children inside.
• Assess the surroundings when arriving at any location, and
be aware of the
surroundings when leaving or approaching your car.
• Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people
in the area.
• As much as possible and practical, avoid driving alone at
• Make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked while
in or out of your car.
• If you must stop while driving at night, park in a well-lighted
• Make sure your car is in good operating condition and the
gas tank is full.
• Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells or
cars with tinted windows that
prevent you from seeing inside.
• At night, when walking between cars in parking lots, be
cautious when passing a
vehicle with someone sitting inside or with open sliding side doors
of a van.
• Criminals try to take advantage of your good will during
the holiday season. Your trust
in others can make you vulnerable to scams.
• Be wary of aggressive solicitors or panhandlers at your
front door and NEVER invite
them into your home.
• Consider posting a “NO SOLICITING” sign that
is visible to anyone approaching your
door. Legitimately licensed solicitors should not bother you. All
others should be
considered unscrupulous and in violation of the law.
• Do not give or verify personal or financial information
about you or anyone else over
the phone to anyone you don’t know personally.
• Do not dial any phone number for anyone who telephones wanting
to “check your
• Do not give permission to being put on any list for donations
or give out your credit
card number. If you wish to donate, mail your donation directly
• Donate directly by mail to recognized charitable organizations.
• Say NO to anyone representing “charitable organizations” who
wants cash and is
willing to come to your home to pick up the “donation.”
• Inform your neighbors of your plans for a holiday party
and apologize in advance for
any inconvenience the party may cause. Invite them to the party.
• If your neighbor cannot attend, be considerate; don’t
let the music get too loud and
plan to end the party at a reasonable time.
• Before guests arrive, remove items of value from the rooms
where the party will be
held. Secure your valuables in a locked room. (It may be necessary
for you to
replace some existing locks or install deadbolt locks on some interior
• Consider providing only non-alcoholic beverages for your
• If alcohol is to be served, arrange for a designated drive
that will not drink any alcohol
and will be available to transport those who may need a ride home.
• If you host a party where alcohol is being served and children
or persons under 21
years old are present, DO NOT PERMIT THEM TO CONSUME ANY ALCOHOL.
• Be wary of “party crashers”. Calmly ask them
to leave. If they refuse, do not become
aggressive. Remain calm. Call the police non-emergency # immediately
at (510) 777-
Adapted from material created by the LAPD Crime Prevention Section
Developed by A. Lozano
HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!