Usually my article covers traffic related issues but with the interest of the holiday season I’ve decided to cover a few crime prevention tips. The number of property crimes around the holiday season generally creeps up and with the current economy the trend is expected to increase even more.
To start I will talk about ways to preventing your vehicle from being broken into. The most obvious it to make sure your vehicle is locked at all times. In a majority of thefts from a vehicle case a contributing factor is that the vehicle was left unlocked. This is an example of a crime of opportunity. Simply ensuring a vehicle is locked is a good start in preventing theft. Another deterrent is keeping purses, wallets, change, and electronics out of view. An item like a GPS unit is valuable and can easily be sold by a thief. It is common for officers to respond to vehicle burglaries were expensive digital cameras, cell phones, purses, or laptops have been stolen after being left in plain sight.
Another common theft this time of year is the theft of Christmas presents from the trunks of vehicles. I have taken reports from families where all their Christmas gifts were stored in the trunk of a vehicle only to be stolen. In my experience they thefts all began with entering the passenger area of a vehicle to steal some item of value that was left in plain sight.
Shopping centers are also an area where theft from vehicles can be common place. When finding a place to park at a shopping center park your vehicle in a well lit portion of the parking lots and ensure all items are stored out of view.
Residential burglaries are also an area where some preventative measures can be taken. Some houses have large windows that display Christmas trees and under those trees are gifts in plain view. Having the blinds or curtains open while a house is unattended can be an invite to the criminal element. Ensuring all doors and windows are locked and closing the blinds are simple steps to take to diminish the chance of having your house burglarized. Some other home security tips, not specific to the holiday season, would be to keep shrubs and trees timed away from windows and doors and have the exterior of your residence will lit in times of darkness.
These are just a few helpful crime prevention tips. For additional information about crime prevention contact Mini Higgins, the Woodland Police Departments liaison for community outreach and resources, at 530-661-7854.