2008-12-05 / Community

Holiday Safety Tips From The 100 Precinct

With the holiday season upon us, most people are preoccupied with the details of holiday plans and shopping. Unfortunately, the safety precautions which we normally take are sometimes forgotten and the excitement of the season sometimes causes us to let down our guard. The Police Department wants this to be a safe holiday season for all, so it reminds us to follow these safety tips so we can enjoy the city and the season.

Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Criminals often confront people who are distracted;

Whether driving, walking or taking public transportation, plan the trip in advance. Know how to get to your destination by the most direct and safest route;

Travel on populated, well lit streets. If possible, travel with a friend;

When driving, keep doors locked and the windows closed. Make sure the gas tank is full and maintain your car in good working order to avoid breakdowns; If you are taking the subway, look for the red or green lights outside the entrance. A red light means that you cannot enter the subway system at the location. Look for an entrance with a green light before going down the stairs. If possible, stay in the view of the token booth while awaiting your train. Never walk near the edge of the platform; Plan your purchases in advance and carry only the amount of cash necessary to make the purchase. If you must carry a large sum of money, divide the cash among your purse, pockets and wallet;

Record the numbers for each of the credit cards you use. This will facilitate reporting the theft or loss of the card; Carry your purse close to your body. Place one end of the purse in the palm of your hand and the other in the bend of your elbow. Never carry a purse by the handle or wrap the strap around your body; Always lock your car. Before getting into your car check the back seat to make sure no one is hiding; If you are carrying a wallet, carry it in the breast pocket of your jacket or in your side pants pocket. The rear pants pocket is one of the easiest to pick;

When in a restaurant, don't leave your handbag or packages unattended;

If you must place packages in your car, put them into the trunk and make sure the trunk is locked. The trunk lock should be protected by a cylinder guard plate. Never leave packages in the passenger compartment unattended;

Don't wait until you have reached your front door to look for your keys. Have them ready in your hand. If a stranger is standing near your door, it may be a good idea not to go in until the situation is safer;

Lock your front door immediately upon entering your home;

If you live in an apartment building, don't buzz in someone who rings your bell until you have verified who he or she is. This will help protect both you and your neighbors;

Be wary of con artists. Con artists use a number of ploys to scam you and steal your property. Some divert your attention while another picks your pocket, some pose as utility workers or a tradesperson to gain access to your home, while others conduct scams that are more elaborate involving several con artists. As a consumer you should also be wary of illegal vendors selling goods on the street. Purchase merchandise from only licensed venders or reputable stores."

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