RCMP offer crime prevention tips this holiday season

By Sheldon Spackman
December 16, 2017 - 11:36am

Red Deer RCMP are encouraging central Albertans to keep crime prevention top-of-mind this Christmas.

They’re offering the following tips to help ensure the Grinch doesn’t mar your holiday season through theft, damage or other criminal activity.

Mounties say to protect yourself while shopping, as thieves hang out in parking lots looking for easy opportunities.

  • Be careful with purses and wallets – carry your purse under your arm and keep wallets in an inside pocket. Never leave purses or wallets in a vehicle.
  • Stow shopping bags in the trunk or out of sight to discourage smash-and-grab thefts.
  • If you store your shopping bags in a vehicle, move your vehicle to a different parking stall then continue shopping. Thieves will think you’ve left.
  • Never leave cash, electronics, garage door openers or valuables in plain sight in your vehicle.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Look around your vehicle as you approach it.
  • Always lock your vehicle and close the windows, even if you’re only gone for a few minutes.
  • Never leave vehicles unlocked and running and never hide spare keys inside your vehicle.

Police say to protect your mail as well.

  • Arrange to have packages delivered to a trusted neighbor if you won’t be home to receive them.
  • Check your mail daily – theft of mail increases over the holidays as thieves look for cards with cash or gift cards inside.

Protect your home.

  • Avoid displaying gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
  • Break down large packaging and dispose of it discreetly – don’t advertise to thieves that you’re the proud owner of new electronics or other tempting items.
  • Always lock your home’s doors and windows, even if you’re only gone a few minutes.

Things to keep in mind if travelling:

  • Stop newspaper and mail deliveries and have someone shovel your sidewalks while you’re away.
  • Give a spare key to a trusted friend or neighbor and let them know how to reach you while you’re away and to call police if suspicious activity is spotted at your residence.
  • Place lights on timers and set them to turn off and on at different times.
  • Invite a neighbor to park in your driveway or have a friend move your vehicle if you left it at home.

Red Deer RCMP remind you to report all suspicious or criminal activity by calling 403-343-5575 or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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