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Los Altos Police Department
Thursday December 5th, 2013 :: 03:38 p.m. PST

Keep criminals at bay this holiday season with these quick safety tips from the Los Altos Police Department

It’s the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season to be wary of burglars, thieves and other holiday grinches.  Criminals see the holidays as the perfect time to burglarize homes for cash, credit cards and gifts. 

Nothing can ruin the holiday spirit faster than becoming the victim of a crime.  Protect your home and family from becoming a victim of holiday crimes by following the safety tips outlined below:

While Shopping:

  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.  Limit the use of your cell phone in public areas.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, your passport, or your social security card.
  • Don’t overburden yourself with packages and beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.  Criminals may try to distract you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • Carry your purse close to your body to prevent purse snatches.  Place your wallet in your front pocket or in a coat pocket.
  • Park in well-lit areas.  Lock your doors, close the windows and hide any shopping packages in the trunk.

While Out for the Evening

  • Turn on lights, TV or radio to make it look like someone is home.
  • Be extra diligent about locking doors and windows when you leave for any amount of time.
  • Don’t display gifts where they can be seen through a window.

If Traveling:

  • Fill out a vacation contact form on the City’s website to notify the Police of when you plan to be away.
  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home and, if possible, park a car in your driveway from time-to-time.
  • Put timers on different lights throughout the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Stop newspaper and mail delivery, or make arrangements for someone you trust to collect these items for you.
  • Don’t leave a descriptive voicemail on your answering machine informing people that you’re away on vacation.
  • Don’t include your last name on your mailbox.  A burglar can look up your home phone number in the directory and call your home while in front of your house to confirm that you are away.

After the Holidays

  • Don’t pile up empty boxes from your new computer, stereo, flat screen TV, or other expensive items on the street for people to see.  Break down the boxes and put them in a bin.
  • Write down serial numbers for items purchased and keep them in a safe place.
  • Take photos of jewelry and other expensive items and keep them in a safe place.

The Los Altos Police Department wishes you a safe and happy holiday season! 

Los Altos Police Department
1 N San Antonio Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-947-2770

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