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By Paula H. Dickenson, USN, Retired Crime Prevention Specialist
Alpine & Rural Crime Prevention, San Diego Sheriff's Alpine substation


November 22, 2010 (San Diego's East County)--Travel safety and prevention tips have taken on a new meaning during tough economic times. Opportunistic thieves may be looking for unprotected homes or pre-occupied travelers.


The Alpine Sheriff's Deputies wish you a safe Thanksgiving Holiday with these following safety tips to avoid problems during the start of the busiest travel season of the year.


Safety begins at home

* Make sure your house looks "lived-in" when you are away.
* Lock all doors and windows, set household lights on timers.
* Trim your hedges/bushes so thieves cannot have a place to hide. Have a neighbor park a car in your driveway to make it appear as if someone is home.
* If you have an alarm system, use it to control access points.
* Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to watch your house.

Watch out for clever criminals


* Do not stop if your car is bumped from behind or if someone says there is something wrong with your car.
* Go to a well-lit, populated area and call for help.
* Fill the gas tank before dark and lock your doors when you leave.
* Remove valuables from your car and lock the doors.

Safety away from home

* Carry money separately from credit cards.
* Do not overburden yourself with packages to avoid being an easy target.
* Stick to well-lighted and well-traveled streets at all times.
* Select ATM machines in visible, well-lighted locations.
* Do not leave valuables in your hotel room. Most hotels have safes for guest use.
* Keep your hotel room door locked, even when you are inside.

"Failure to prepare, is preparing for failure."