The holidays are fast approaching and that means crime rates go up. This time of year there are more incidents of robbery and personal larceny. These crimes are usually a crime of opportunity – packages are stolen from front doors shortly after being delivered, purses are stolen out of unlocked cars – the good news is these types of crimes aren’t usually violent and they can be prevented.

Holiday Safety Tips

Lock Your Car

Everyone is shopping this time of year. Many of us go from store to store filling our vehicles with gifts. It’s very easy to forget to lock the car when making that last stop after a day of going from mall to shopping center and back to the mall. Don’t forget to lock your vehicle. If your vehicle locks automatically you’re a step ahead of the game (but don’t forget to place items out of sight). If it doesn’t you can put a post-it note on your steering wheel reminding you to lock it. You can even set a reminder on your cell phone – there’s probably even an app for that.

Park in Well-Lit Spots

Days are shorter now so be sure to park in a well-lit parking space. In addition to preventing your car getting broken into, parking under a bright light can save you from being assaulted.

Don’t Advertise

If you’ve been shopping all day, don’t advertise to those opportunists that you have great stuff worth stealing. Hide packages from electronic and computer stores. Put those items and bags in the trunk or cover with coats and jackets.

Lock Your Home

With holiday guests arriving in town it can be easy to forget to lock the doors of your home, but that is precisely what crooks are hoping for. Lock your home whether you’re in it or out and about. Most robberies occur in homes that are left unlocked. Thieves simply move on if the door is locked.

Don’t Advertise at Home

After the festivities recycling bins are filled with boxes from high ticket items like laptops, TVs, tablets and video game consoles. Putting them outside in the trash or recycling lets would-be robbers know exactly what you have inside your home. Turn boxes inside out if possible or bury the high priced item’s box at the bottom of the bin.

Video Doorbells

These days everyone is installing video doorbells. These are great tools in preventing crime and solving crime. When the doorbell is rung you can answer it on your cell phone, even if you aren’t home. You can talk to the person ringing your doorbell and they have no idea if you are home or on the other side of the country.

These are just a few ways to keep yourself and your belonging safe during the holiday season. With a little prevention, thoughtfulness and planning ahead, you can prevent yourself from being a victim of crime.