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Dos and Don'ts For the Holiday From the LAPD

Precautions for you and your valuables when out shopping or at home during the holiday season.

The Los Angeles Police Department wishes you Happy Holidays and, as it always does this time of the year, reminds you to stay safe and avoid becoming a crime victim. Here are some holiday tips from the LAPD:

Lock It: Lock your vehicle every time you leave it unattended and always lock your valuables in the trunk.

Hide It: If you don’t have a trunk, hide valuables under the seats, in the glove box, or other compartments within the vehicle. Never leave valuables in plain view.

Keep It: Personal responsibility is the best prevention to safeguard personal property and to prevent you from becoming a victim.

Remember: Electronics’ docking stations, GPS and GPS docking stations are prime targets for thieves. If you want to keep them, lock them out of sight. Do not leave them out. Do not leave phone or computer chargers in plain view. Prior to leaving your vehicle, place the chargers in the glove box or any other enclosed compartment.

When shopping:

  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • Do not park in remote locations.
  • When returning to your car, stop, listen, and look around. Stay alert to your surroundings.
  • If you see or hear something suspicious, Stop! Ask security or store personnel to escort you to your vehicle.
  • Have your car keys readily available before you get to your vehicle.
  • Crime deterrence begins with you, so if you see something suspicious, say something, call the police.

At home:

  • Be extra cautious! Lock your doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended period of 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 doorways and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Make 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.

Also: Drive defensively and remember, traffic is heavier during the holidays. Look out for drunk drivers!

If you see anything that you feel is suspicious, but not an emergency, go to www.alertcommunity.com. It allows citizens to document suspicious activity quickly, easily, and anonymously.

In case of emergency dial 911. For non-emergencies, you may contact the Los Angeles Police Department at 1-877-ASK-LAPD (1-877-275-5273) or TTY 1-877-275-5273 for the hearing impaired.

Jan Raabe November 22, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Be aware you are distracted by holiday chores and commitments. Get enough sleep. Don't text and drive. Don't drink and drive. Slow down and stop at yellow lights, do not speed up. Wait 3 secs when the lights turn green before entering an intersection. If you are wearing headphones look both ways before stepping into the street. Pay attention to your surroundings because you won't hear someone approaching you from behind. Happy Holidays! and remember to always wear your seat belts!
Ajay Singh November 23, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Jan—thanks for the great advice, particularly about the importance of slowing down.

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