As the holiday season begins, it is also a time where people become vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime.
The Hayward Police Department share these holiday crime prevention tips for you, your family, friends and neighbors.
When Out and About Shopping...
- Dress casually and comfortably.
- Shop during daylight hours. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
- Due to a rise in “gold chain/necklace” robberies, avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times (this is the time of year when strangers or con-artists are more aggressive using methods of distractions to steal from you).
- Do not carry an oversized purse or wallet. Use a shoulder strap small purse for easy baggage handling.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and pay with a check or credit card when possible.
- If you are carrying cash, keep it in your front pocket and avoid flashing your cash around.
- When in large crowded areas (i.e. malls, transportation terminals, etc.) keep your purse and wallet secured close to your body.
When Using the ATM...
- Use the ATM during the day and preferably a drive-up ATM
- If no drive-up ATM is available, choose one that is located inside a public place like the mall, or well-lighted location.
- Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
- Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
- ALWAYS stay at the ATM until your transaction is fully complete.
- Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
When Out and About Driving...
- Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car.
- If you must drive at night to shop, park in a well-lighted area.
- Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
- Take notice of where you parked your vehicle.
- Set your car alarm or use an anti-theft device.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
- Be aware of your surroundings when approaching or leaving your vehicle.
- Do not leave packages or valuables visible for people to see. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
- Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
- Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
Secure Your Home…
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
- When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
- Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
- Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
- Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.