Although it’s the giving season, remember to keep your eyes and mind on safety and security. Don’t give criminals the easy targets they’re looking for when porch pirates invade your neighborhood. Criminals love the holidays as much as everyone else, especially because it’s an opportune time for the crime.
Homes jam-packed with glittering gifts. Stores, malls and streets filled with unsuspecting shoppers carrying their finds. With their minds on searching for the perfect last-minute gift, people are sometimes oblivious to pickpockets as they try to get everything done. These types of situations are enough to make a thief giddy with holiday joy.
Here are some tips to keep you and your belongings safe this holiday season:
1. When you’re going to be out of your home for the evening leave your lights or TV on so it doesn’t appear that the place is empty (and therefore vulnerable). Your decorations may be beautiful, but the TV hanging on your wall and gifts piled under the tree is what will attract a criminal’s attention so keep your curtains drawn so that people can’t see inside. If you’re not sure you’re going to be home when packages are being delivered consider a locker service or instructions to leave the package somewhere out of view to avoid people taking a package that’s been left at your door.
2. Don’t leave gifts or shopping bags in plain view when you leave your vehicle. You may feel like you’re making progress on your holiday shopping but a criminal who strolls through a parking garage and sees piles of shopping bags in your vehicle feels like Christmas came early. It’s not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of the generosity of others during the holidays. Don’t talk/donate to strangers going door to door and feel free to help a charitable organization you know and like instead.
3. Even after the holidays are over you still need to be mindful since a pile of new electronics boxes in your trash bin is basically an inventory of what a burglar can expect to score. Break down the boxes into small pieces that won’t stand out and dispose of them to a local recycling dumpster if possible. Desperation sets in for some people after the holidays, who might not be career crooks, when that first credit card bill hits and they turn to crime. Be wary of walking alone in dark areas, don’t hesitate to ask local Security staff at a store or your office to walk you to your car. Have your keys out and ready before leaving the building. Park in well-lit areas and always practice Lock (your doors) Take (your keys) and Hide (your belongings).
Last but not least, don’t let holiday stress get the best of your holiday spirit. Make time to get together with family, friends, and neighbors to remember that the holidays are a time for Joy!