The reason crime happens is well known. Crime happens because there is a criminal to commit the crime, a victim who can be victimized by the criminal and the location or opportunity for a crime to occur. You can reduce the likelihood of being the victim of criminal activity if you take away the opportunity for the criminal to make you his victim.
At Home: Make sure your main front door has a door viewer (peep hole). Install solid core wood or metal doors on all exterior door openings Always lock all windows and doors when going out. This includes short trips next door or out to the mailbox. Do not place keys in hidden locations. Keep all landscaping trimmed back to allow a clear view onto the property. Shrubs should be at 36" or lower, trees and tall plants should have at least 6" clear below. Do not allow plants to obstruct the view of windows and doorways. Know your neighbors - be aware of who belongs and who does not belong. Always acknowledge anyone who knocks at the door or rings the bell. You don't have to open the door, but you should always let them know you are home.
Purses, Backpacks and Briefcases: Do not carry what you cannot afford to lose. Do not advertise what you have in your purse or backpack. Carry purses/backpacks close to your body. Protect them by holding your arms across them. Carry keys, wallet or other valuables in your pockets. Always keep your wallet, purse, backpack closed or zipped up. Do not leave your purse or backpack unwatched. Purses and backpacks hung on chairs or left in shopping carts are easy targets.
Walking or Shopping: Always be alert to where you are. Pay attention to others around you - are you being watched or targeted. Use well lit streets and sidewalks were many persons are around or business are open. Occasionally look behind you Do not carry large sums of money or unused credit cards and identification. Do not resist a robber - due as asked and follow the instructions given. If you fell someone is following or watching you - go into a populated location and ask for help - call the police
Holiday Shopping: Know where you are and where you are going. Pay attention to your surroundings. If possible do not carry a purse or backpack. Take a small coin purse or card wallet that will fit in your pocket. Is anyone watching what purchases you make or what you have in your wallet. Do not leave wallets or purses unattended in a shopping cart. Do not leave packages alone – have packages shipped home or to the office. Do not leave anything in the car. Criminals watch for you to place packages in the car or trunk of your car and walk away to continue shopping. Do not carry anything that you cannot afford to lose. Park in well lighted locations if shopping when dark. Park in locations close to heavily traveled entrances and locations. Look around as you approach your car. Have your keys in hand and ready. Always shop with someone else – the buddy system.
On-Line Shopping: Use only well known established businesses. Do not give out personal information or credit card numbers to unknown persons or companies. Before placing an order with a company or with an unknown company, call the company by phone and get a feel for their business practices and professionalism. Always check your statement for unauthorized purchases. Do not purchase from direct marketing phone calls to your home or business. Although many companies are legitimate, many are not. Get a name, address, phone number and way to contact the business in order to check them out. Call the Better Business Bureau. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is too good to be true. If the offered price is only good during the phone call or while being solicited, be weary of fraud.