As holidays approach, Montgomery County police warn residents to be extra vigilant for robberies, burglaries and thefts from vehicles. According to a police statement, the opportunity for these incidents increase during the holidays.
In addition to the police department’s yearly “Shop with a Cop” campaign, Montgomery County police have released the following safety tips:
- Do not become distracted by your shopping. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Park in well-lighted parking lots and as close to stores as possible.
- Lock car doors, and keep packages hidden in the trunk or under the seats of your vehicle.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash with you.
- Making multiple trips back to your vehicle to store packages in the trunk as you shop keeps you from becoming overburdened by packages and able to move freely.
- Carry your closed purse as close to your body as possible.
- Carry a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
When out walking:
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
- Walk with confidence and know where you are going.
- Trust your instincts; if something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave the area.
- Stick to well-lighted and well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots or alleys.
- Do not flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
- Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
- If you think that someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street and walk toward an open store, restaurant or lighted house.
- If your Christmas tree can be seen through a window, do not display presents under the tree where they could be seen.
- Make sure to lock doors and windows.
- If you are going away for the holiday, let a neighbor know that your home will not be occupied and have someone keep an eye on your home. Ask someone to pick up your mail and newspapers.
- Place your lights on timers to give the appearance that someone is at home.
- After the holidays, be sure to break down cardboard boxes from gifts for recycling so that a potential burglar does not know your home has a new computer, TV, video game system, etc.