’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