Holiday crime alert: Protect yourself with these safety tips

McGruff the Crime Dog rides in a Federal Way police vehicle, as seen in this photo from a past National Night Out event. - File photo
McGruff the Crime Dog rides in a Federal Way police vehicle, as seen in this photo from a past National Night Out event.
— image credit: File photo

From staff reports:

Federal Way police want citizens to have a safe and crime-free holiday season. Family gatherings and activities are on the rise, and so are opportunities to become a crime victim.

Follow these safety tips to avoid becoming a crime victim.

• When shopping, always have your purse or wallet on your person. Never leave it in a shopping cart or in a vehicle. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Consider using checks, debit cards, or credit cards.

• Remember where you parked your car, seek a well-lighted location, and have your keys in hand as you approach the vehicle. Beware of your surroundings. Consider that safety is increased with numbers. Bring a friend shopping.

• Holiday packages arrive daily to homes. Delivery trucks are a signal to thieves that valuable items will be left on porches or driveways. If you are expecting a package, be on the lookout for it. Use online tracking services to predict delivery, or arrange to pickup at local delivery distribution centers. Communicate with neighbors.

• Cold weather warning: Incidents of stolen vehicles increase during periods of cold weather. An unattended idling car is an open invitation to a thief, who can see exhaust from blocks away.

• Reduce the risk of residential burglary by keeping wrapped gifts out of sight. Always keep doors and windows locked. If you have an alarm system, use it.

• After Christmas, do not alert thieves of new gifts by throwing out boxes from expensive purchases. Break down the boxes and hold them out of sight until collection day.

• Holiday parties: Do not drink and drive. Be smart and take a taxi, designate a sober driver, or call a sober friend.


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