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Crime Prevention Tips - Decmber 2

The Waynesboro Police Department would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season. We would also like to take this opportunity to remind all of our citizens of some important crime prevention tips. These are good to know at all times, but especially around the holiday time period. During the holidays, the potential for thefts and robberies increase. More people are out and about, and they are carrying more gifts and money than during other times of the year. We would like to stress there is no need to be afraid, but always stay aware of your surroundings and keep the following tips in mind.

Carry your valuables wisely. Do not keep cash in your wallet. Instead, keep it in an inside pocket and only carry the credit cards you'll need.

Do not leave valuables in your vehicle. If you must leave packages in your car, put them in the trunk. Keep receipts with you.

Carry a cell phone with you. If someone makes you suspicious or uncomfortable, notify security or call the police.

Whenever possible, park and walk in well-lit areas. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially the people around you.

Carry your purse close to you, with the opening or flap towards your body. Never leave a purse unattended in a shopping cart.

Do not keep a wallet, credit cards or cash in a backpack. If you are in a crowd, consider carrying the backpack in front of you. Pickpockets can quickly and easily remove items from a backpack without being noticed by the owner.

Protect your credit card numbers and other personal information. Carefully dispose of receipts that have a credit card number on them. Never provide credit card information in response to unsolicited calls or emails.

Don't announce your new high-dollar purchases after the holidays. Break down the boxes of TVs, stereos, computers, etc. and turn them inside out before putting them in the trash.

Stay alert to your surroundings while shopping. Try to shop with friends or family and always be aware of your surroundings.

Watch purchases while eating in food court areas. Packages can easily be picked up or swapped if you aren’t watching them while eating.

Have your keys in hand prior to leaving the store. If you don’t, you may have to sit your packages down while digging your key out. This gives a potential thief an opportunity to grab your bags and run.

If you are traveling for the holidays, make your home look "lived in". Have a friend or neighbor collect your mail and newspapers or have your service suspended while you are away. Use timers to turn lights off and on.

Keep your house well lit on the outside. Light is one of the strongest deterrents to crime. Turn your outside lights on. Use compact florescent lights to save electricity and money.

Don’t display gifts in your home, under your Christmas tree, that can be seen from the windows. That can be an invitation to a thief.

Always know who is at your door prior to opening it. If you cannot see who is there, ask them to identify themselves.

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to reduce your chances of being a victim of crime. If you have any questions about crime prevention, contact the crime prevention officer at 942-6683 or via e-mail at

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