Holiday Crime Prevention Tips

December 6, 2000


Los Angeles: The purpose of this circular is to impart basic crime prevention techniques for increasing public security during the holiday season. The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to thefts and other holiday crimes. The Los Angeles Police Department wants everyone to have a secure and happy holiday season by taking a minute from the busy schedules to read and apply the following Holiday crime prevention measures.

When carrying your California Driver License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use, ensure that they are kept secured;

If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area, do not leave packages on the seat of your car. This creates temptations for thieves;

Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside. A car can be stolen in a few seconds;

When approaching and leaving your vehicle be aware of your surroundings. Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people standing by. Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location;

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, debit or credit card when possible;

Keep a record of all of your credit and debit card numbers in a safe place at home so you can report stolen or lost cards by their numbers;

Instruct your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you while shopping;

Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes;

Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your residence;

When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home;

Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green, and never place wrapping paper in your fireplace; and

Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.

Commander Sharon Papa, LAPD spokesperson, stated, "It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations for charitable causes, although no charity is involved. Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate. Consider donating to a recognized charitable organization."

Also, should you plan to be a host or guest at a holiday function, here are some items to consider:

Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests. Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink alcoholic beverages.

Know your safe limit.

Never drink and drive.

The information contained in this circular is meant to contribute to the safety and security of people during the holiday season. We can never be too careful, prepared or aware. Share this information with family, friends and neighbors. Schedule family discussions, ensure the entire family is aware and prepared to be safe and aware. The Los Angeles Police Department wants everyone to have a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season. See holiday safety and other crime prevention tips for additional information.

For further information, please contact Sergeant Mike Peterson, Crime Prevention Section 213-485-3134.

This press release was produced by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section 213-485-3586.

For Release 4:45 pm PST
December 6, 2000