Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

’Tis the season for joy and celebration, but the Christmas season can also be a unique opportunity for criminals.

The Red Deer RCMP offers these effective tips to enjoy a crime-free holiday.

While shopping:

l 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.

l Stow shopping bags in the trunk of your vehicle or out of sight to discourage smash and grab thefts.

l Never leave cash, electronics, garage door openers or valuables in plain sight in your vehicle.

l Stay alert to your surroundings and be aware of the people around you. Look around your vehicle as you approach it.

l Always lock your vehicle and close the windows, even if you’re only gone for a few minutes.

l Never leave vehicles unlocked and running, and never hide spare keys inside your vehicle.

Protect your mail:

l By arranging to have packages delivered to a trusted neighbour if you won’t be home to receive them.

l By checking deliveries daily – theft of mail increases over the holidays as thieves look for cards with cash or gift cards inside.

To protect your home:

l Avoid displaying gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.

l 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.

l Always lock your home’s doors and windows, even if you’re only gone for a few minutes.

Travelling this holiday season?

l Stop newspaper and mail deliveries and have someone shovel your sidewalks while you’re away.

l Give a spare key to a trusted friend or neighbour and let them know how to reach you while you’re away.

l Tell a trusted neighbour you’re going to be away and ask them to call police immediately if they see suspicious activity on your property.

l Place lights on timers and set them to turn off and on at different times.

l Invite a neighbour to park in your driveway or have a friend move your vehicle if you left it at home.

Suspicious and criminal activity can be reported to the Red Deer RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575.

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