Message from the Chief
Refuse to be a victim of holiday crime. The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching. Whether you are out in the hustle and bustle or in the middle of a shopping frenzy, remember you are not the only one out there shopping. Criminals are shopping too...for victims! The holiday season is an opportune time for crime. Homes are jam packed with gifts. Stores and malls are filled with unsuspecting shoppers whose minds are more likely occupied with looking for last minute gifts than being aware they may be the target of a thief or robber. Remember that thieves and robbers are most often looking for the easy victim who is distracted by the sights and sounds of a joyful season. Refuse to be a victim...be aware or beware!
Here are a number of holiday season tips that can help keep you from becoming a victim. The first two tips are the most important. They can and should be applied all year long:
- Lock your car and residence doors and windows when they are left unattended, even if it is just for a few minutes. (Over 90% of the car burglaries in this community occur to vehicles with unlocked doors.) If you ride down any Oviedo residential street, most days your will see multiple open, unattended garage doors. Remember to keep those garage doors closed too.
- Stay alert and be aware of what is going on around you. (Criminals prey on people who are not paying attention to their own safety.)
- Many people vacation during the holidays. If you are traveling, do not forget to have mail and newspaper deliveries stopped. If these items pile up, it is a sure sign to a crook that your home is empty.
- When driving and shopping, try to park in well-lighted areas, lock your car, close your windows, and hide your shopping bags and gifts in the trunk of your car.
- If you are traveling from one shopping location to another, place your packages in the trunk before you get to your next destination.
- Be wary of strangers who come to your home during the holidays. Criminals will take advantage of your generosity during the holidays through gaining access to your residence or asking for charitable donations when there is no charity involved. Ask for identification and ask how donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, you can always help a charity you know and trust.
- Do not advertise what is in your house that is worth stealing by putting empty gift boxes on the side of the road on garbage day when you can put the same box in a bag.
- The holiday season is a good time to take, or update, an inventory of your personal property. Take photos or make videos of your valuable items. List descriptions and write down serial numbers.
Here’s to a happy and safe holiday season to you all.
Chief Dale Coleman