During the holiday season, there tends to be an upswing in crime rates for certain types of crimes. Some of the top crimes committed over the holidays include shoplifting, robbery, identity theft, DUI, and assault.

By remaining aware of holiday season risks you can better protect yourself and decrease your chances of becoming a victim. Please review these crime prevention tips to assist you in having a safe and joyful holiday season.

When Shopping:

  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings
  • Park in a well-lit area, near other cars. Hide any shopping bags in a locked trunk.
  • When you return to your vehicle, check for forced entry and scan to be sure no one is hiding inside.
  • Have your keys out and ready when approaching your vehicle. Avoid fumbling in your purse outside your vehicle.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or excess credit cards beyond what you need. If you do go to an ATM, make sure it is in a well-lit, safe location, and check your surroundings before withdrawing cash.
  • Carry your purse close to your person. Do not leave your purse, wallet, or cell phone in plain view and don’t carry your wallet or cell phone in your back pocket.
  • Do not resist or chase someone who is trying to rob you; they may have a weapon. Call 911 for assistance.
  • If you are shopping with children, have a safety plan and discuss when them ahead of time what to do if you get separated.

When Driving:

  • Drive defensively and with heightened vigilance. Remember that traffic is heavier during the holidays and there may be an increased number of drivers who have been drinking.
  • Lock your car doors and close the windows while driving.
  • Avoid shortcuts or detours that take you through unsafe or unfamiliar areas.
  • Don’t exit your car if you see a suspicious or shady situation.
  • Keep a safe following distance, allowing for ample time to react to the traffic around you.

When Celebrating:

  • Plan to drive sober or designate someone else to. If you are the designated driver, don’t drink.
  • Save the number or a taxi or rideshare company in your phone so you always have a backup plan.
  • Consider using smartphone apps like Lyft or Uber
  • If you have been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, use a rideshare company, or use public transportation to get home safely. If you know others who are about to driver under the influence, help them make other arrangements to get home safely

When at Home:

  • Be cautious when accepting packages and with people soliciting charitable donations. Ask for identification and confirm legitimacy before giving.
  • If you are leaving town, ask a trustworthy neighbor to watch your home and bring in the mail, deterring others from knowing you are not home.
  • Put your lights on an automatic timer.
  • Be extra vigilant when locking your doors and windows. Consider installation of secondary locks (deadbolts, etc.)
  • Don’t leave any valuables or gifts in view from outside the home.

Dellino Law Group wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!