SHERIFF OFFERS TIPS FOR SAFE HOLIDAY SHOPPING

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December 3, 2015 (San Diego County) - This holiday shopping season, the Sheriff’s Department is offering tips to avoid becoming a crime victim over the holiday.  Be on the alert and remain cautious—since criminals don’t take the holidays off.  The department will also be on alert, holding Holiday Watch operations throughout the county to keep shoppers safe. These patrols include probation checks, motorcycle and bike patrols at shopping centers, and drunk driving patrols.

It’s also setting up “SkyWatch,” an enclosure lifted by crane two stories above ground to give deputies a better vantage point in shopping center parking lots.

You can follow these crime prevention tips to keep the greedy grinches away now and throughout the year:

When you’re out shopping

  • Shop during the day when possible and shop with a friend.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don't overload your arms with packages and bags while shopping.
  • Park in a well‐lit area.
  • Have your keys out and ready when approaching your car.
  • Be aware of how you carry your purse or wallet. Would it be easy for someone to take it?
  • When shopping, lock your car doors and take valuables with you.
  • When storing items purchased, place them out of sight. The best place is in a locked trunk.

When you’re at home

  • Always lock your doors and windows especially at night and when you're away.
  • Avoid opening doors to strangers.
  • Place gifts where they cannot be seen from outside your home.
  • Bring packages delivered inside promptly, since thieves have been known to follow delivery trucks and snatch packages off porches.
  • Sheriff's Crime Prevention Specialists offer a free security check to show vulnerabilities in your home. You can call your local Station or Substation or visit sdsheriff.net/patrol.
  • After opening presents, don't pile up empty gift boxes outside. This gives burglars a hint of expensive items in your home. Instead, keep boxes inside until the night before your garbage pickup. If you see someone casing your alley, report suspicious activity to the Sheriff's non‐emergency line at (858) 565‐5200.

When Going on Vacation

  • Lock up your home and activate your alarm.
  • Don't share your plans on social media.
  • Sign up for a free vacation check so Sheriff's Senior Volunteer Patrol (SVP) members can keep an eye on your home. Visit sdsheriff.net.
  • Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway.
  • Hold the delivery of your mail and newspaper or ask a trusted friend to pick them up for you.

If you see any suspicious activity, call the Sheriff’s Department at (858) 565-5200.