The Park Ridge Police Department wants you to have a safe and fun Holiday Season
Police Department records indicate that the fall and winter show an increase in burglaries to residences. “The increase at this time of year can be largely attributed to the time change and the resulting earlier sunset”, said Chief Kaminski. “It is becoming dark while people are still at work and this gives burglars a window of opportunity that doesn’t exist in the spring and summer.” Police department crime prevention officers recommend the use of timers to give the perception that someone is home. “Dark homes are very inviting to these people,” Kaminski added. There are other things homeowners can do to help prevent crime during the holidays.
The following Holiday Safety Tips were compiled, in cooperation with the Park Ridge Police Department Community Strategies Section, to contribute to the safety and security of people during the holiday season. The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. We can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors. These strategies may not be effective all of the time but they certainly help put the odds back in the homeowner’s favor
The Park Ridge Police Department wishes you a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season!
- Avoid driving alone or at night.
- Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
- If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
- Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
- Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
- Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. 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.
- Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
- Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
- When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
- Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
- Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
- If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, 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.
- Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
- Dress casually and comfortably.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
- Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
- Always carry your Driver License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
- Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
- Keep cash in your front pocket.
- Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
- Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
- Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
- Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
- 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.
- When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
- Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
- If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
- Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
- Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.
- Avoid displaying gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
- Arrange to have packages delivered to a neighbor if you are not home and avoid leaving packages on your doorsteps or porches.
- Dispose of packaging discreetly. Criminals observe discarded product packaging of enticing items and then target you or your home for their next burglary or theft.
Always remember the Park Ridge Police Department is here to serve and protect you. If at any time you observe suspicious activity, please call 911 to report the incident. By working together, we can make Park Ridge even safer.
The Park Ridge Police Department enjoys working closely with our community. You can contact your Beat Team Leader (see www.parkridgepolice.org) or Community Strategies Officer, Julie Genualdi for further information or a safety inspection of your home. They can offer tips and suggestions to help secure your home and make it less vulnerable to criminal activity. For further information, feel free to contact Officer Genualdi at 847-318-5233.