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Holiday Crime Prevention Tips

Posted: December 15, 2017


Holiday Crime Prevention Tips


Detlef Hindemith, Group Coordinator for West St Paul Citizen on Patrol Program (WSP C.O.P.P.) reminds you to be extra cautious not to become a victim of crime during the holiday season.


"This time of the year many of us are fully engaged with preparing for celebrations, shopping for gifts, visiting with family and friends and other social gatherings,” Hindemith says, "During the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season thieves, burglars and other criminals view this as an opportunity to take advantage of us.”


Hindemith recommends a few tactics that will improve securing your property, reduce the risk of break-in, and protect yourself from crime.



Property Theft Prevention Tips

Ø Make an extra effort to lock up your home and garage. Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors.

Ø Don’t display your gifts under the tree so they are easily visible from outdoors. It’s very tempting for thieves to plan a break-in for those wrapped packages, having previously scouted out your home.

Ø Burglars look for vacancy clues like leaving lights on for 24hrs a day, piled up flyers and newspapers and a driveway full of uncleaned snow over an extended time.  Ask a neighbour or friend to pick up those flyers. Hire someone to clean the snow from your driveway and walk. Use lighting timers to turn lights on at different times in your home. Leave a radio or the television on so your home appears occupied.

Ø Thieves know to look for the hidden key near the entrance door. Don’t hide spare keys under planters, decorations or mats. Instead leave the spare key with a trustworthy neighbour.

Ø Avoid leaving detailed messages on your answering machine or alerting on social media you will be away from your home. You will be leaving yourself vulnerable to burglaries with plenty of time to ransack your entire home.  


Shopping Theft Prevention Tips

Ø When shopping, do not leave purses or bags unattended in shopping carts. All it takes is a split second for a thief to walk by, remove your bag virtually undetected. Thieves are looking for an opportunity to steal your phones, wallets, shopping bags or anything of value.

Ø Stay alert to your surroundings, avoid parking in an unlit area, lock your packages and gifts inside the vehicle trunk. Absolutely keep your doors locked at all times. Never leave your vehicle running, even if you will be gone for only a minute. Have your keys handy before you go to your car. Be aware of strangers approaching you at any time for any reason.

Ø After Christmas don’t leave the now empty boxes of new electronics piled by the home or on the street for garbage pickup. Burglars will realize you have expensive gifts inside waiting for them to steal.  Break down the boxes for recycling, better still, cut them up to conceal what the contents were. 

"Please consider some of these crime prevention measures so you can enjoy a wonderful holiday season.”  Hindemith said. "Observing these suggestions should help secure your property so criminals simply move onwards out of the community”


"Protect Your Self and Help Protect your Community”