Every season brings its unique safety challenges. With many families traveling and homes full of holiday gifts, winter is commonly a time when property burglaries increase. Here are some tips from the Police Department on how to keep you and your family safe this winter:
Protect Your Home
- Don't display gifts where they can be seen from outside.
- Don’t invite burglars by putting the boxes for your new expensive toys (computers, televisions, cameras, and other electronics) at the curb with your other garbage for a long period of a time. Instead, break down any boxes you are throwing out and place them inside the recycling can. If they are too large to be broken down, consider keeping boxes inside until the evening before recycling pick-up.
If You Are Traveling
- Get an automatic timer for your lights.
- Ask a neighbor or friend to shovel snow and park in the driveway from time to time.
- Have mail and newspaper delivery stopped.
- Call the Police Department and request a House Watch while you are out of town.
Protect Your Vehicle
- Always lock your vehicle and store all items out of sight. Breaking into an empty car isn't worth a thief's time. However, anything left in plain view—from your holiday gifts to spare change, sunglasses, CDs, cell phones or briefcases—may tempt a thief.
- ALWAYS lock your car.
- Even though it's cold, never leave your vehicle running while you run inside your home or a store—even if for only a minute or two.
Holiday Package Theft
- Track deliveries online and confirm delivery has occurred. You can sign up for email notifications to track your packages from initial shipment to its arrival at your home, or the recipient’s address if you have the gift delivered directly.
- If you know a family member or neighbor will be home, ask them to pick up the packages as soon as they are delivered.
- Consider switching the delivery location to your workplace, where it can be received by someone and not left on the porch.
Armani Scam Warning
The Police Department has received reports of “The Armani Scam”, in which a scammer approaches a target and in an Italian accent says he's lost and needs directions to the airport. During the conversation, he lets potential victims know that he is looking to unload drastically discounted Armani clothes. Sometimes the scammer says he is in the area attending a fashion show or that he doesn’t want to take the clothing back to Italy because he does not want to pay duty taxes. He may provide an Armani business card or drive an expensive car. He makes an offer that is difficult for some people to refuse, and they unknowingly purchase counterfeit Armani clothing. Police ask anyone approached to make a report, and to remember if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- The winter and holiday season is a time of celebration and revelry, but drinking and driving is a danger to everyone on the road. Have fun, but remember to celebrate responsibly!