Red Deer RCMP offer crime prevention tips for the holiday season

RCMP touch on protecting yourself while shopping, your mail and travelling

’Tis the season for joy and celebration, but the Christmas season can also be a unique opportunity for criminals. Consider these simple crime prevention tips from Red Deer RCMP to help protect yourself over the holidays.

Protect yourself while shopping

· Be careful with purses and wallets – carry your purse under your arm and keep wallets in an inside pocket. Never leave purses or wallets in a vehicle.

· Stow shopping bags in the trunk of your vehicle or out of sight to discourage smash and grab thefts

· Never leave cash, electronics, garage door openers or valuables in plain sight in your vehicle.

· Stay alert to your surroundings and be aware of the people around you. Look around your vehicle as you approach it.

· Always lock your vehicle and close the windows, even if you’re only gone for a few minutes.

· Never leave vehicles unlocked and running, and never hide spare keys inside your vehicle.

Protect your mail

· Arrange to have packages delivered to a trusted neighbour if you won’t be home to receive them.

· Check your mail daily – theft of mail increases over the holidays as thieves look for cards with cash or gift cards inside.

Protect your home

· Avoid displaying gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.

· Break down large packaging and dispose of it discreetly – don’t advertise to thieves that you’re the proud owner of new electronics or other tempting items.

· Always lock your home’s doors and windows, even if you’re only gone for a few minutes.

Travelling this holiday season?

· Stop newspaper and mail deliveries and have someone shovel your sidewalks while you’re away.

· Give a spare key to a trusted friend or neighbour and let them know how to reach you while you’re away.

· Tell a trusted neighbour you’re going to be away and ask them to call police immediately if they see suspicious activity on your property.

· Place lights on timers and set them to turn off and on at different times.

· Invite a neighbour to park in your driveway or have a friend move your vehicle if you left it at home.

Red Deer RCMP send warm wishes to Red Deerians for a safe and happy holiday season, and thank citizens for their continued support in reporting suspicious and criminal activity to the RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575.

-Submitted by Red Deer RCMP

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