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Los Altos Police Department
Tuesday December 6th, 2016 :: 11:59 a.m. PST


Tips to keep you, your home and valuables safe this holiday season

During the holiday season, criminals often have increased opportunities to commit theft and other crimes. While we haven’t seen a significant spike in crime in Los Altos recently, being mindful of your surroundings and taking extra security precautions during this time of year is still advisable.
Please review and share the safety tips below to help protect your home and family this holiday season.
Report Suspicious Activity

  • No one knows your neighborhood better than you, so if someone or something gives you pause, err on the side of caution and contact us to report the suspicious person or activity. Also, the City has strict rules prohibiting unpermitted door-to-door solicitors. If you observe solicitors in your neighborhood, 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. Consider having packages delivered to a trusted friend, family member or neighbor who is home during the day. Take advantage of scheduled delivery options or inquire if your workplace allows packages to be delivered there during business hours.
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 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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