The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging you to take a few extra steps to make sure your homes and vehicles are secure during the holiday season. The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office experiences a dramatic increase in property crimes such as vehicle prowls and residential burglaries during this time of year. Unfortunately, crime doesn’t take a holiday.
As always, if you observe a crime in progress please dial 911. If you observe something out of the ordinary that you may suspect could be leading up to a property crime being committed, please call 911.
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1) Make sure your house is locked up while you are away. Most burglars enter through unlocked doors or windows.
2) Hide or secure valuables so they are not visible through exterior windows. Lock them or take them with you. (Drapes or blinds closed).
3) Ask a trustworthy neighbor(s) to keep an eye on your home and report suspicious activity to police. Offer to do the same for them.
4) Attempt to minimize signs that your home is unoccupied. If possible, keep a vehicle in your driveway. Stop mail and newspaper deliveries. Put lights and/or radios on a timer. Use affordable quality lights that are very energy efficient and can be left on for a fraction of the cost.
5) Don't leave a spare key hidden outside.
6) Don’t leave property such as bicycles or children’s toys outside.
7) Don't announce that you will be away from home on social network sites or answering machines.
8) Keep your vehicle locked and clean! Even a plastic shopping bag may be enticing. Remove GPS units, IPods, cell phones and their chargers from sight. Clean off GPS suction cup residue from your windshield. When Christmas shopping, don’t leave recently purchased gifts in plain view.
9) Don't leave garage door openers in your vehicle while parked outside.
10) Keep a list of make, model and serial numbers of your valuable property*. This information can lead to recovery and the prosecution of the thieves. (Keep this information in a safe and secure location).
11) If you rent, consider buying renters insurance. If you are a homeowner, check with your insurance company to verify you have coverage for property theft.
12) If you have an alarm system, use it.