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By Paula Dickenson, USN Retired
Crime Prevention Specialist, Alpine and East County Rural Sheriff Substation
June 25, 2012 (San Diego's East County)We plan, look forward to and want to enjoy that much deserved time.  It's a vacation!  Whether it's for a couple of days or weeks, don't let yours be ruined by crime.
An empty house is a tempting target and opportunity for a burglar.  On the road, you may become a prime opportunity for the criminal with identity theft, auto burglaries and fraud.

Here are a few crime prevention vacation tips:
Before leaving home...
  • Have good locks on all doors, windows, garage and use them.
  • Use timers to turn lights on and a radio on and off at appropriate times.
  • Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you are away. 
  • Leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor, for emergencies.
  • Stop all deliveries i.e. mail, newspapers, packages, etc.
  • Request a VACATION CHECK FROM THE ALPINE SHERIFF'S STATION!  Our Senior Volunteers will be more than happy to do this.
On the road....
  • Never carry large amounts of cash; use traveler's checks
  • Be aware of your surroundings and never advertise your plans to strangers.
  • Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist.
On car security.....
  • Always lock your car after entering or leaving it.
  • Park in well-lighted areas.
  • Check the back seat before entering your car.
  • Lock valuable out of sight.  Carry wallet, checkbooks and purses with you.
  • Do not advertise you are a tourist.  Place maps and travel brochures in the glove compartment.
On hotel/motel security....
  • When occupying or leaving your room, use all auxiliary locking devices on doors and windows. (You may want to purchase a portable door lock for traveling)
  • Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting entry.  If in doubt, call the hotel/motel office.
  • Arrange your things so you'll know if anything is missing.
  • Never leave money,  checks, credit cards or car keys in the room.
  • Place valuables in the hotel/motel safe.
  • Report any lost or stolen items to management and to local law enforcement.
  • Report to management any suspicious movements in the corridors or rooms.
Remember, the only way to stop crime is to get involved in crime prevention. This is your time to relax and enjoy!  Don't let a criminal take advantage of this opportunity!
For additional information, contact Paula Dickenson, Crime Prevention Specialist, (619) 659-2608

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