As the holiday season is upon us, the City of Douglas Police Department would like to remind everyone that holiday shopping can present some danger. During the holiday season, people become less attentive as their lives become more hectic, which creates an opportune time for burglars, muggers, and pickpockets. Taking a few prevention measures can help ensure a jovial holiday season.
Stay safe this holiday season by following some of these tips:
- While shopping, stay alert and be on the lookout for suspicious individuals; honk horn to attract attention if necessary. Park close to businesses in well lit areas and be aware of your environment. Report to 911 of any criminal activity.
- Shop during daylight hours in groups with no children, if possible. Avoid driving alone or at night. Never leave your vehicle running while you run inside your home or a store – even if only a minute or two.
- Keep car doors locked especially when pulling up to traffic lights; keep windows rolled up. Take keys with you and keep in hand when walking; use the panic button on the remote if approached by a suspicious person; keys can also be used as a weapon.
- Keep large packages and valuables in the trunk. Don’t overburden yourself with packages.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. When making a purchase using your debit or credit card look at your receipt before signing the pad or before leaving the register to make sure you had no unapproved charges or cash advances you did not ask for. ATMs – do not use or get out of vehicle if someone is around; be discrete when entering pin numbers at ATMs or using inside stores
- If you are not going to be home - place timers on lights, have neighbors watch house and fill out a “Vacation/Neighborhood Watch” form at the Police Department. Do not display gifts where they are easily seen from outside.
Avoid becoming an easy target by not leaving empty electronics boxes or other large item boxes out by trash cans. Holiday thieves often portray themselves as collecting funds for a charitable organization. If a stranger comes to the door, ask for identification prior to opening the door or giving funds to that person.
The holiday season is a time of celebration and parties. Drinking and driving is dangerous to anyone on the road. Don’t risk your health or another’s by drinking and driving. Stay sober or get a designated driver before heading home after a few drinks.
Lastly, enjoy the season and if you have any questions, please call the City of Douglas Police Department at (912) 384-2222.