NOPD officers advise people to protect themselves and belongings while holiday shopping

NOPD officers advise people to protect themselves and belongings while holiday shopping

NOPD officers say there are simple things you can do to protect yourself and belongings while you're holiday shopping.

At Home 
-Always lock doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
-Don't display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway. Store gifts before you go away on a holiday trip.
-If you take a holiday trip away from your home, have some interior lights activated by an automatic timer.
-When traveling, have a trusted neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up the mail/newspaper.
-Immediately after the holidays, mark new gifts with an identification number and record new serial numbers.
-Test your smoke detectors.
-Use fire-resistant ornaments on a holiday tree and make sure electric lights are in good working order.
-If you have house guests, advise them of your security precautions and make sure they follow them.
-Avoid leaving boxes from purchases (especially TV's, VCR's, computers, etc.) out on the curb for trash pickup. Disassemble them, and place in a trash bag for disposal.

-Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle's trunk. Keep your vehicle's doors locked and windows closed.
-Don't overburden yourself with packages.
-Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse tightly under your arm or wear a cross-body style purse. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket or front pocket.
-Introduce children to a store clerk, police officer or security guard and advise them to ask for help if they become separated.

Parking Your Vehicle
-When preparing to park your vehicle, scan the area for anything or anyone suspicious.
-Back into a parking space, if possible. Your departure out of the lot will be quicker, especially in an emergency situation. 
-Whenever practical, avoid parking near large vehicles, which can obscure someone breaking into your vehicle.
-Lock all doors and roll all windows up. 
-Secure all valuables and packages in the trunk.
-GPS systems, I-pods, cell phones, computers, shopping bags, purses, briefcases, audio equipment, keys, personal papers, jewelry, wrapped gifts, etc., SHOULD NOT be left in plain view inside of the vehicle.
-Remember where you parked and what level you parked on.
-Whenever possible, park in well-lit areas, close to the exit or elevators.
-When returning to your vehicle, have your keys in your hand.

Holiday Road Trip Travel Tips
Are you and your family planning to drive to a holiday get-together this year? AAA has simple tips to help make your drive a smooth one, so you can arrive at your destination safely and without incident.
-Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
-Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
-Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
-If you're traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated.
-Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road.
-In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. AAA and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.

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