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 By Paula Dickenson, San Diego Sheriff’s office

December 31, 2011 (San Diego) -- New Year’s resolution:  organize that paper monster, make that “To Do List”, control the clutter, sort – purge, sort - purge!  Our new year always begins with positive possibilities for organization. Making those checklists for getting organized for taxes, bills, home repair, even cleaning out the closets helps us keep on course.  For the New Year, we encourage you to consider a “Crime Prevention "To Do List” and a Paper Shredder.
Scammers take advantage of the good will of others.  They also want to repair something in and around your house.  Recently, someone provided a check for services "promised", and never heard from them again.  The scammer cashed the check and went on to another victim.
Anyone who approaches you regarding anything including but not limited to debris clearing, rebuilding, telephone solicitation even a person  “appearing” to be delivering a package and stating the package is a “collect on delivery”…. VERIFY!

Report Suspicious Activity too! The phone number to report suspicious activity is (858) 565-5200.  Describe the event as briefly as possible: what, where, when, and how. If it’s suspicious, call the Sheriff’s Department!  You may save a life or stop a crime!  State Contractor Board is happy to verify information for you.  1-800-321-2751.
Crime Prevention “To Do List”.  “Keep on course” for having a safe year for ourselves, our family and our neighbors.
Review your credit history.  Contact Equifax, 1-877-322-8228, Experian, 888-397-3742, Trans Union 800-493-2392Be Aware!  All three Credit Companies are offering "credit monitoring service" for a monthly charge.  Under Fair & Accurate Transaction (FACT) Act, at your request, each major credit reporting agency will provide you with one free credit report every 12 months. If you choose not to participate in their credit monitoring service for a monthly fee, ensure it is clear that you want only your free annual report.  We would recommend calling each agency separately. You will be sure this is an accurate account from each agency.  It takes time, but worth it.  Calling one each month for three months allows close monitoring for possible ID Theft.   Closely monitor your credit cards, check book and all other forms of Identification.  Take only that in which you need when going to work and shopping.
Maintain an inventory of your valuables.  Be sure to include a brief description of the item, make/model, serial number and a picture if possible.   It is a type of insurance, helping us to recover your property in case of theft.  Keep one copy in your home, and another outside of your home.
Protect your vehicle.  Lock it, park carefully, mark your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in several places such as tailgates, spoilers and under the hood, using an engraver or dye marker.  By doing this, we make it more difficult for thieves to sell parts stolen from the vehicle.
Teach “9-1-1” responsibility to children.  Dial 9-1-1 for fire or medical emergencies and serious crime in progress.
Start a Neighborhood Watch and join an Alpine/East County Rural Neighborhood Watch in your area.  Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program which involves neighbors getting to know each other, work together, and implementation of crime prevention techniques.
Partnership with your Alpine & Rural Sheriff's Deputies keeps our communication going so we can have the "bad guys" go somewhere other than the community we live and work.
For additional information, contact Crime Prevention Specialist Paula Dickenson, 619 659-2608.
On behalf of the Sheriff's Deputies, Sheriff's Senior Volunteers and Sheriff's Reserve Deputies that serve you and our community, we wish  everyone a happy and safe new year!


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