Pelham Police Department shares holiday safety tips

Published 12:29 pm Monday, November 23, 2015

The Pelham Police Department provided tips for safety for both shopping and at home to keep families safe this holiday season. (File)

The Pelham Police Department provided tips for safety for both shopping and at home to keep families safe this holiday season. (File)


PELHAM— With the holiday season in full gear, the Pelham Police Department provided a list of tips in a Nov. 23 Facebook post to promote safety for citizens.

“To most of us, the holiday season is a time for giving, fellowship and goodwill,” the post read. “However, the rush and activity that exemplify the holidays can, and most often do, increase the opportunities for criminal activity. Historically, as the holiday season draws near, increases in thefts and burglaries occur.”

Although the Pelham Police Department does operate with a heightened awareness during this time of year, the post asked individuals to take simple precautions to help prevent themselves or their families from becoming victims to crime.

While shopping, the Pelham Police Department suggests you:

  • Always be alert of your surroundings and park in well-lit areas.
  • Don’t shop alone, if possible. If you do shop alone, especially at night, be especially cautious when returning to your vehicle. Have your keys out and ready when you leave the store.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car when it is unattended. Automobile burglaries are one of the most reported crimes during the holiday seasons. Presents, wallets and purses left behind in a vehicle are a welcome target to would-be thieves.
  • Only make online purchases from secured websites. Some online businesses are merely fronts that utilize personal and credit card information for illegal purposes.
  • Keep your purse or wallet in your physical possession at all times. Also, try to limit the amount of credit cards and cash that you take with you. Many criminals look for purses that are placed in shopping carts and will steal them when they observe that the shopper is not paying attention.
  • Avoid shopping until you are exhausted. You are more alert when you are less tired.
  • Carry a cellular phone and have emergency phone numbers available.
  • Make sure to get all forms of ID and credit cards back from a store, especially when you are in a rush or in a crowded shop.
  • Be extremely careful using ATM machines. Use them in populated places and constantly pay attention to what is going on around you.

While at home, the department recommends you:

  • Be alert of suspicious people or vehicles in your neighborhood and help watch out for your neighbors. Any activity that arouses your suspicions should be immediately relayed to the police department.
  • Avoid allowing strangers access to your home.
  • Keep gifts in an area so they cannot be viewed from the outside.
  • Keep your windows and doors locked. This includes the use of secondary locking devices such as deadbolts.
  • Pay special attention that the packaging material for large dollar items (such as electronics) is placed out of view in trash receptacles for garbage pickup.
  • Leave some lights on and contact the police department to request for extra patrol for your home if you are travelling.

“Hopefully these tips, along with some diligence on the part of you and your family, will help to protect you from crime during this special time of the year,” the post read. “Happy Holidays.”