The men and women of the Palos Heights Police Department would like to remind everyone to be vigilant during the approaching holiday season and to take a moment to review the following shopping crime prevention tips.
Holiday Shopping Crime Prevention tips:
- Always walk and park in well-lit areas.
- Park close to the entrance of the store, if possible.
- Cellular telephone conversations can be a distraction that makes you vulnerable to thieves. A cellular telephone itself can also be a tempting target to thieves.
- Do not electronically unlock your vehicle until you are within door opening distance. This helps stop a thief from getting into the car and waiting to strike when you least expect it.
- If you are leaving a store and feel uneasy about entering the parking lot or garage by yourself, stay in the store and ask for an escort to your car.
- Do not open your car door for any strangers in a parking lot or garage. If you believe you are in danger, call 911 immediately.
- Do not display large amounts of cash or offer alluring targets for theft such as expensive jewelry or clothing.
- Carry a purse or shoulder bag close to your body, not dangling by straps. Put your wallet in an inside pocket of your coat or front pants pocket.
- Always have your car keys in your hand, and ready to use when you reach your car.
- If you believe someone is following you, cross the street, switch directions, walk into a store or restaurant. If you are concerned for your welfare, yell for help. Do not be embarrassed. Your safety is more important!
Safe Online Shopping Tips:
- Use trusted websites rather than shopping with a search engine that can be rigged to lead you astray.
- Never buy anything online using your credit card from a site that does not have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed.
- Never give out your social security number or birthday to do online transactions.
- Regularly check credit card, debit card, and checking account statements during the holiday season.
- Protect your computer against malware with regular updates to your anti-virus program.
- Create a unique password that cyber thief’s cannot compromise.
- Avoid public computers to purchase items online.
- Only use a Wi-Fi connection if you access the Web over a virtual provider network (VPN) connection.
Tips for Keeping Packages Safe This Holiday Season:
- Consider a secure alternate delivery location instead of your front entryway.
- Have the package sent to a UPS or FedEx location instead or your residence.
- When shipping something of high value request a signature. Either the shipper or recipient of the package can make this request.
- Request a vacation hold if you are going to be out of town.
- Pick a delivery date and time that works for you.
- Many times, you can redirect a package if you are not going to be home. Check with your shipper to see if this method is available to you.
If you are a resident of Palos Heights and anticipate traveling during the holiday season, we recommend that you contact the Palos Heights Police Department, at (708) 448-5060, to have your home placed on a “vacation watch.” While on the vacation watch list, officers check the exterior of your home for damage, or signs of break-ins. Have a safe and prosperous holiday season!
George L. Yott Jr.
Chief of Police