When we think of the holidays, often the last thing on our mind is crime. But unfortunately, the holidays are a time when thieves and con artists are frequently on the prowl. Statistics show burglaries and thefts generally increase during the holiday season so it is important to take a few precautions that can keep your holiday joyous. Don’t let the excitement and rush of the holiday season make you a victim of crime.
- Never leave your purse or holiday gifts in plain sight of people who come to your door.
- Arrange to have packages delivered to a neighbor if you’re not at home to receive them. Packages left on porches are “easy pickings” and alert burglars of your absence.
- Always lock your doors and windows, including your garage, even if you are gone for just a few minutes. Keep automatic garage door openers out of sight – and don’t leave keys hidden under mats or near the doorway.
- When leaving town, have a trusted friend or neighbor take care of your home, pick up mail or take deliveries. Notify the police department of any extended absence along with information of who to contact if there is a problem. If snow is in the forecast, have an arrangement with someone to shovel your walks and driveway while you are away.
- Have indoor and outdoor lights on a timer. Motion activated security lights are well worth the cost. If you plan to be gone, consider putting other lights and a radio or TV on a timer as well.
- When shopping, be conscious of your surroundings. Shop with a partner and don’t become overburdened with packages. Park in well lit areas and have your key in your hand when you approach your vehicle.
- Thieves are attracted to purses, valuables, and purchases that are visible inside of vehicles. The majority of vehicle prowls involve either unlocked vehicles or vehicles that have valuables in plain view.
- As always, be careful with personal information such as social security numbers and PINs that can be used to steal your identity. Never keep that information on your person, or in your wallet or purse – and never send credit card or bank information via email.
Editor's Note: This is a notice from the Sumner Police Department, located on the City of Sumner website. You can contact the police department at 253-863-6384.