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Los Altos Police Department
Monday December 7th, 2015 :: 03:56 p.m. PST
Community

Help put criminals out of business this holiday season by following these safety tips

During the holiday season, criminals often have increased opportunities to commit theft and other crimes. We know nothing can ruin the holiday spirit faster than becoming the victim of a crime, so we hope to help you protect your home and family by sharing the following safety tips.

Report Suspicious Activity

  • The City has strict rules prohibiting unpermitted door-to-door solicitors. If you observe solicitors in your neighborhood  knocking on doors trying to sell products, please report them to the Police Department right away, as they may be up to no good. These individuals may be scoping out the neighborhood in order to commit future crimes or might even attempt to break in when no one answers the door. Call (650) 947-2770 to report suspicious activity. If it’s an emergency, dial 911.


Protect Your Valuables

  • ALWAYS secure your home and vehicle. Lock all doors and windows and set your alarm if you have one.
  • NEVER leave holiday gifts, cell phones, purses or other valuables in plain sight in your vehicle. It takes only seconds for a criminal to smash a car window and steal your belongings.
  • If shopping online, avoid having packages delivered to your home when no one is there to receive them. Los Altos Police have already received reports of packages being stolen from front doorsteps. Consider having packages delivered to a trusted friend, family member or neighbor who is home during the day. Some stores even offer in-store pick-up for items that are purchased online.


Protect Yourself

  • 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.


Protect Your Home

  • If heading out for the night, consider leaving a light, TV or radio on to make it appear that 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.


Traveling for the Holidays?

  • 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 while in front of your house to confirm that you are away before breaking in.


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 potential criminals 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 happy and safe holiday season! 

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

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

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