How to Avoid Being the Victim
There are three reasons why people are easy targets for random acts of violence:
a. Lack of awareness. You MUST know where you are & what's going on around you.
b. Body Language. Keep your head up, swing your arms, stand straight up.
c. Wrong Place, Wrong Time. Don't walk alone in an alley, or drive in a bad neighborhood at night.
If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives. Or, look for the inside trunk release if so equipped.
Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc). Don't do this. The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. As soon as you get into the car, lock the doors and leave.
A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A. Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.
B. If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the person is attempting to get into their car.
C. Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.
It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Always take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot.)
If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, always run. The predator will only hit you ( a running target) 4 in 100 times. And even then, it most likely will not be a vital organ. Run.
Women are always trying to be sympathetic: stop it! It may get you raped, or killed.
Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
Anatomy of a Burglary
Click here to see a chart providing statistics and facts related to residential burglaries (Chart from Washington Post)
For more information on keeping your home safe, please visit our Programs section and read more about the Home Security Checklist.
Pedestrian Safety Near Train Tracks
The Park Ridge Police Department continues to receive calls from concerned citizens that a significant number of pedestrians are disobeying the warning devices at the Summit and Dee Road railroad stations. We want the community to know that we are very concerned about the safety of our pedestrians and commuters. The department has conducted informational campaigns in the recent past along with METRA and began by issuing warnings. Unfortunately, the informational campaign has not accomplished the desired goal: voluntary compliance. We continue to observe pedestrians placing themselves in harm’s way. Because of our commitment to safety, the Park Ridge Police Department will continue to enforce grade crossing laws on a periodic basis. Please be aware of this and avoid a ticket, and more importantly, potential injury or death by adhering to railroad crossing laws. The fine for a first time offense is $250.00. The fine for a second offense can be up to $500.00. The following list of information is important for pedestrians to be aware of when near railroad tracks:
- Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
- Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.
- Flashing red lights signal that a train is approaching from either direction. You can be fined for failing to obey these signals. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing. Stay alive! Do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it is safe to do so.
- Unless you are at a designated public crossing or platform, the railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine.
- It can take a mile or more to stop a train, so a locomotive engineer who suddenly spots you ahead has little chance to miss you.
- Trains overhang beyond the tracks by at least three feet in both directions and loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, the train can hit you.
- The only safe and legal place to cross is at a designated public crossing with either a cross buck, flashing red lights or a gate. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined.
- Do not attempt to hop aboard moving railroad equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb or your life.
- Be aware that some trains do not follow set schedules.
- Do not walk, run, cycle or operate all terrain vehicles (ATVs) on railroad tracks or rights-of-way.
The Police Department would like to remind you with the weather warming up and home improvement repairs beginning we encounter a problem with scams in our community.
Elderly residents especially are key targets in these scams, but anyone can become a victim.
Suspects can pose as utility company employees, and/or home repair contractors. Entry is made into the victim's home by the use of misrepresentation. Once inside, one suspect will divert the resident's attention while the accomplices search for and steal money, jewelry, or other small valuables. The suspects are very clever and will tell you just about anything to get into the house, even asking you for a drink of water or if you have seen their lost pet.
Other scams occur when suspects pose as contractors to do home repairs and may offer to provide a service for a very low fee, then will charge you double or triple the amount. Be aware of people that approach you to do work because they are "in the neighborhood", or start on a repair without asking first. They can be fast talkers and can distract you easily.
Always get estimates for home repair jobs and compare prices. Ask friends or family for recommendations and ask for referrals of the business and call them. Always wait to make a decision and do not give anyone cash the same day. Make payments by check, so that if you are dissatisfied with the service, payment can be stopped.
Finally, never let anyone in your house unless you know them, and call the police if you see or encounter any person trying to offer you service that sounds too good to be true.
What to Do if You Lose Your Wallet
Cancel your credit cards immediately. The key is having the card numbers and toll-free numbers handy, so make a list before something happens and store it in a safe place. Or make photocopies (front and back) of the stuff in your wallet and hide it in a safe place.
File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was lost or stolen. Try to get a receipt for the report, or at least the phone and fax numbers for the police department, and date you can obtain a copy of the report.
Call the three national credit reporting organizations and ask them to put fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. The numbers are: Equifax, 800-525-6285; Experian (formerly TRW), 888-397-3742; and TransUnion, 800-680-7289
Report it to the Social Security Administration fraud line, 800-269-0271.
Call your bank if your checkbook or ATM card was lost or stolen.
Debit Card Phone Scams
A computer automated phone scam has impacted Central and Southern Illinois Bank customers. Debit card customers are receiving automated telephone calls stating their debit card account has been breached, and then told they will need to “reset” their information in order to use their account.
The “scam” works this way: The telephone rings, and the caller ID shows “not available” or “private number.” An automated recording states, “Your debit card account has been breached. You need to reset your account by following these steps.” The automated recording states to press “1” to begin.
By pressing “1” a computer system has been activated. The customer is then told to enter the 16-digit card number and the expiration date. The automated voice then asks for the three digit Customer Verification Value Code (CVV Code) located on the back of the card, followed by the four-digit PIN code. The perpetrators of the scam now have all the information they need to access the victim customer’s debit card account.
It is important to remember not to give out personal information over the phone including passwords or pin numbers. Banks do not use an automated system to ask for this type of customer information regarding their accounts. Banks already have customer account information, and therefore do not need to ask for their information over the phone.
If you believe you have been contacted or unknowingly participated in this scam, you are urged to contact your bank immediately.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is addressing a public safety issue that has been affecting more Illinoisans than ever before - the growing instances of unlicensed locksmith activity. Certain individuals and companies are attempting to take advantage of desperate homeowners who have been locked out of their homes, or who have had to change the locks on their doors due to break-ins, fraud or other illegal activities that have compromised their security.
The IDFPR has been tracking a number of unlicensed locksmith complaints. In doing so the Department has discovered that any identifiable address for these unlicensed businesses is sometimes located in another state, and that the phone number that customers may call is, in fact, a phone switch answered in another city or state. When located, these unlicensed businesses simply change their name, move to a new address, or request a new telephone number from a local phone company.
While the law does not require a licensee to carry on his person a copy of his license the license must be displayed at each place where business is being conducted. Employees of a locksmith company (agency) are allowed to perform locksmith work but must carry on his person a Permanent Employee Registration Card (commonly referred to as a "blue card") issued by this Department and an identification card issued by his employer (locksmith agency) which contains a photograph of the employee, the employee's name, the name and agency license number of the employer, the employee's personal description, the signature of the employee and the date of issuance.
In order to verify that an individual holds a license as a locksmith or is a properly registered employee of a Locksmith Agency or if a company is a licensed Locksmith Agency the Department maintains an up to date license look up feature on its web site at www.IDFPR.com
. Citizen inquiries can be made by accessing this website or by calling 217-782-8556.