Holiday safety tips from the Spokane Police Department

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager 509.742.0063

Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 10 a.m.

With the holidays upon us, the Spokane Police Department (SPD) wants the community to have a happy and safe holiday season. Shoppers need to keep in mind that criminals are constantly surveying for an opportunity to commit crimes, such as looking for a running vehicle, an unsuspecting shopper who leaves their purse in the shopping cart for a few seconds, or an individual who leaves their packages in plain sight in the backseat of their vehicle.

To help minimize the risk of becoming a crime victim during holiday shopping outings, SPD suggests following a few holiday safety tips:

  • If you order gifts online make sure someone will be at home to receive your deliveries as unattended packages at your door are an easy target for opportunistic criminals.
  • When leaving your house to shop or visit friends and family, ensure your windows and doors are locked. Keep lights on when you leave the house or use automatic timers for some of your lights.
  • When shopping at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Park your vehicle in well-lit areas, and have your keys handy while walking to your car.
  • When parking your car be sure to keep all packages out of sight, and be sure to remove garage door openers to prevent thieves from using vehicle registration information to gain access to your home through the garage.
  • Wallets and purses are prime targets for criminals in crowded shopping areas, and consumers should keep their cash, credit cards and identification in a safe, secure location.
  • Don’t leave purses, bags or wallets unattended in shopping carts.
  • Avoid displaying large amounts of cash.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings. Trust your instincts.

The Spokane Police Department wants to remind residents of the importance of personal safety and security especially during the holiday shopping season when seasonal crime trends rise due to increased numbers of shoppers and increased opportunities for criminals and when colder weather and longer hours of darkness can also be factors. Hopefully by following some of these simple safety tips, everyone in our community will have a fun, festive, and most importantly safe holiday season.

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