Here we are again quickly approaching our favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are the holidays we normally find ourselves away from the home front and enjoying the atmosphere of the church and church activities, malls and the holiday spirit of the people in passing, meeting and greeting others in coffee shops. Regardless of the location of the activities we have selected to indulge in, we all are susceptible to the criminal acts that the holidays may bring. Unfortunately, criminal act awareness needs to be ingrained in our minds whether moving about alone, with family, or with friends. In sharing this with you, Security would like to express numerous ideas for thought over the holiday period.
- Prior to taking a trip to a certain destination, inform someone of your intentions to travel to that destination. At the least, call someone at your destination and alert them that you are en route to their location. This is always a great idea in the event you become stranded with a vehicle issue.
- If your vehicle does break down, stay inside of your vehicle with the doors locked. If someone stops to offer you help, ask them to call the police for you if you haven’t done so already. If your phone is still within roaming range, make the call immediately yourself and inform the dispatcher of your approximated location.
- When suspected travel is on your agenda, make every effort to fuel your vehicle during the daytime hours. Prior to traveling, take the time to ensure yourself that your fuel level is appropriate for any emergency you may have to face.
- If you need to exit your vehicle at any time, especially in parking lots, do not leave your vehicle running. Pay special attention to never leave your keys either in the locks of your doors or vehicle trunk.
- If you have valuables or anything of worth inside of your vehicle, take the time to secure it in a hidden area and out of the view. Do not tempt or make simple the opportunity for anyone willing to commit a theft to do so.
- When exiting your vehicle, do not place a purse or bag on top of your vehicle or away from your body while performing other movements inside of your vehicle. Thieves thrive on easy targets. When walking across parking lots or on the streets, keep a secure hold on your purse and packages to avoid easy take snatch and grabs by thieves.
- Give strict attention to your surroundings when walking in parking lots, malls, and sidewalks. Avoid texting and talking on the phone as much as possible when moving around in these areas.
- When visiting locations away from your residence, make it a habit to park as close to your destination as feasibly possible. Spending unnecessary time in parking lots and ramps looking for your vehicle make you an easy target.
- Lock and secure your vehicle even if you are away from it for a short period. A criminal only requires a short period of time to either commit a crime against you or steal your vehicle.
- Practice looking into the front and back seats of your vehicle before entering it. If someone is seen inside of your vehicle, move to a safe location where other people are assembled and contact the local police immediately.
- Make it a habit to park in well-lit areas regardless to your destination. When driving into a parking lot, look around the vicinity for anyone standing around or any unusual activity. Once parked, take the time once more to check your surroundings before exiting your vehicle.
- When returning to your vehicle, practice having your keys in your hand for quicker access. Keep in mind that you should scan both the front and rear seats before entering your vehicle.
- If at all possible, avoid parking next to vans, large trucks, campers, etc., when in crowded lots. The potential for assaults lessens when a person has a broader view of his or her surroundings.
- For anyone that may feel fearful or suspicious of a person when in a certain location, cause audible attention by using your panic/alarm button on your key fob. If you have purchased another mechanism such as a whistle, gas canister, etc., keep it within your possession when visiting locations with large parking lots and lighted areas.
Director of Security