General Holiday Safety and Crime Prevention Tips

Originally posted by the Sandy Springs Police

At Home

– Make sure all doors and windows have secondary locks (window pins, deadbolts, dowels, etc.) and use them!
– Don’t hide spare keys in mailboxes or planters, or under doormats.
– Ensure that dark areas and entrances have outdoor lights that are turned on after dark or are activated by sensors.
– Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed so they do not conceal doors and windows. – Remember, overgrown foliage can provide a hiding place for criminals.
– Place gifts where they can’t be seen from the outside.
– Consider safe deposit boxes for coin and stamp collections, seldom-worn jewelry, stock bonds, etc.
– Be sure to mail cards, checks or gift certificates from the Post Office or at a blue U.S. Postal Service collection box.
– Lock your vehicle and remove all the valuables. Yes, even in your driveway.

Your vehicles

– Lock your car doors.
– Take your valuables with you. (This includes keys, cell phones, wallets/purses, GPS units, computers, weapons, and jewelry).
– Or, at least, Hide those valuables so they aren’t in plain sight.

Strangers at your Door

– Use caution anytime there is a stranger at your door.
– Be suspicious of unexpected sales calls or deliveries.
– Be aware of scams that criminals commit to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays.
– Investigate charities before making donations. Ask how the funds will be used. 

Leaving for the Holidays

– Ask a trusted friend, neighbor or Neighborhood Watch member to watch your home.
– Use timers for lights and radios while you’re away.
– Remember to make arrangements for mail and newspapers.

After the Holidays

– Don’t advertise expensive toys, electronics, or other gifts received by the boxes left for garbage collections. Compress or cut up large boxes and place them in black garbage bags for pick-up.
– Add new items to your home inventory. Take photos or video of all items of value in your home and list each item’s make, model, serial number and other information.
– Engrave new items to help identify them in the event they are stolen.

Avoid Porch Theft: 5 Tips to Protect Your Packages

– Network with Neighbors
– If possible, have Packages Delivered to Work
– Leave Specific Drop-off Instructions
– Use a Smart Lock
– Install Security Cameras

Tips to Avoid Package Theft

– Get a P.O. Box as Your Local Post Office
– Use Lockers
– Set Up Notifications to Track Your Packages
– Install a Security Camera
– Get Your Packages Delivered to Your Job
– If you live in an apartment or condominium, have packages delivered to the office
– Require a Signature on Delivery
– Reschedule Delivery or Ask for a Package Hold When on Vacation
– Try Smart Locks
– Get a Package Guard
– Insure Your Packages
– Consider installing surveillance cameras around your home
– Ask Your Neighbors to Grab Your Packages

What to do if you’ve become a victim of a porch pirate

– Check with your delivery company to make sure your package was actually delivered.
– Know exactly what’s in the missing box.
– If you see the thief, pay attention to what his or her vehicle looks like and its license plate number. Second to that, get the thief’s physical description – gender, approximate height and weight and what they’re wearing – so you can tell an officer.
– Call 911 and ask for an officer to come to your home.
If you have a security camera on your home, get a copy of the video to police. — Ask your neighbors if their cameras captured the thief in action.

Lastly, please remember: If you See Something, Say Something! We need your eyes and ears to let us know what’s going on in our community.