Holiday shopping is stressful enough with crowds and traffic in addition to trying to stick to the budget. Wheat Ridge Police suggest staying safe should be a priority as shoppers are checking off the gift list this holiday season.
• Parked vehicles can be a prime target for thieves. They often will break windows or punch locks to gain access to items left in plain view. Open windows and unlocked doors also make cars an easy target. To help reduce the risk of theft from inside vehicles, always lock the doors, even if just running into a store quickly, and be sure to put the car windows up when leaving it unattended.
• Park vehicles in well-lit, high-traffic areas and away from larger vehicles or shrubs that might hide the activity of thieves. Thieves target cars parked in isolated areas in order to “work” without drawing attention
• Do not keep any items – including a purse or wallet, cell phone, computer bag or gift bags – in plain sight as clearly visible items can catch the eye of a thief. Be sure to stow and secure all items prior to leaving the car. Also, be sure to remove any portable accessories, such as GPS units and stereo faceplates, when leaving the car.
• Be aware of the surroundings while walking to the car.
• Don’t fill arms with bags or packages. Keep a hand free for keys and access to opening the car door.
• Don’t talk on the cell phone or text while walking. Not only is that dangerous, staying alert and watchful walking to the car may help identify suspicious behavior or someone who could be a threat.
• Lock the car doors once inside, especially if making a call or checking messages before heading home.
While at home:
• Keep doors and windows locked, especially when going to bed or leaving the house.
• Cut shrubs back around windows and doors so neighbors are able to view anyone trying to access the home when the residents aren’t there.
• Use timers for randomly placed lighting so it appears someone is home, even when residents are on vacation. Set timers for outdoor lighting instead of leaving porch lights on for days or weeks when on vacation.
• Cancel newspaper delivery and have the post office or a neighbor collect mail and packages.
• Don’t post information to Facebook or other social media sites about vacation plans and when the home might be empty and a target for thieves. Post those photos after arriving back home.