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News Release

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

Media Relations

CRIME PREVENTION CIRCULAR - Officer Creeper

The purpose of this information is to assist the business community in reducing the incidence of theft in the workplace, and to decrease office burglaries committed by the "Office Creeper." An "Office Creeper" is an individual who enters an office building, disguised as a fellow office worker or a stranger posing as a repair, delivery, cleaning or other service personnel.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) believes you can reduce the risk of crime in the work place by applying these precautions.

SUSPICIOUS PERSONS/BEHAVIORS

The "Office Creeper" could be a male or female dressed in a suit and tie or in the attire that is appropriate for that work environment. If you see someone wandering or appearing to be "lost" in your building, ask if you can help them by asking simple questions such as, "May I help you?" or "Who are you here to see?" If the person has legitimate business in the building, he or she will appreciate your assistance. Escort them to the right office, or to the "house phone" to call their intended contact. If not, ask the person to leave the building, but only if you feel comfortable doing so. If the person refuses to leave, call the police or building security. Be prepared to describe the person when you call the police. Learn your organization’s safety guidelines and policies. Review them often.

"The information in this circular contains valuable theft prevention tips that can help you avoid becoming a victim of crime," states Commander Sharon Papa, Department Spokesperson. "If confronted by a thief, follow your organization’s guidelines. Remember, it is usually best to give a thief what he or she wants. Don’t try to be a hero."

There are many more strategies outlined in the LAPD’s "Office Creeper Crime Prevention Circular." For more information, or to obtain copies of crime prevention circulars, contact the Community Liaison/Crime Prevention Unit at 213-485-3134.



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