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Tips for Safe and Happy Holidays

From our friends at the New York State Police

This holiday season, don't let the spirit of giving lull you into giving burglars, muggers, and pickpockets a better chance to do their dirty work. Crooks love the holidays as much as everyone else, but chiefly because its an opportune time for crime.

Homes jam-packed with glittering gifts. Stores, malls, and downtown streets teeming with unsuspecting shoppers. People rushing around, stressed out and careless, looking for last-minute gifts, trying to get everything done. It's enough to make a crook giddy with holiday joy.

Here are some tips on how to celebrate safely this season:
If you're traveling

  •     Get an automatic timer for your lights.
  •     Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel snow, and park in the driveway from time to time.
  •     Don't forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it's a sure sign you're    gone.

If you're out for the evening

  •     Turn on lights and a radio or tv so it looks like someone's home.
  •     Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  •     Don't display gifts where they can be seen from outside.

If you're shopping

  •     Stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you.
  •     Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
  •     Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
  •     Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. DOn't overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet on an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  •     Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.

To view the full list of holiday safety tips and download a printable pamphlet, visit the New York State Police webpage by clicking here.

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