SPDSelma Police Department

Crime Prevention Tips

 

 

Crime Prevention Tips for Your Home

Information Provided by the Selma Police Department

 

 

Your home is your castle...or is it? Is your home really safe once you leave for work or school? Your home is considered a sanctuary where you should feel safe. Your home is the only environment where you have control over who can get close to you or your family. Protecting your home and family from criminal intrusion should be high on your list ofpriorities.

 

Home Burglary

By far, the most common threat to our home is burglary. According to the FBI, a burglary occurs somewhere in the United States every 15.4 seconds. By definition, the crime of burglary is a non-confrontational property crime that occurs when we are not at home. However, becoming a burglary victim can leave a family feeling vulnerable and violated. To avoid becoming a burglary victim, it is important to first gain an understanding of who commits them and why.

The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when most people are away at work or school. The summer months of July and August have the most burglaries with February having the fewest crimes. Burglaries are committed most often by young males less than 25 years of age looking for items that are small, expensive, and can easily be converted to cash. Favorite items are cash; jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, VCRs, video players, CDs and other small electronic devices are high on the list. Quick cash is needed for living expenses and drugs. Statistics tell us that 70% of the burglars use some amount force to enter a dwelling, but their preference is to gain easy access through an open door or window. Ordinary household tools like screwdrivers,channel-lock pliers, small pry bars, and small hammers are most often used by burglars. Burglars continue to flourish because police can only clear about 13% of all reported burglaries and rarely catch the thief in the act.

Although home burglaries may seem random in occurrence, they actually involve a selection process. The burglar's selection process is simple. Choose an unoccupied home with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover, and with the best escape routes. What follows is a list of suggestions to minimize your risk by making your home unattractive to potential burglars.

 

Doors and Locks

The first step is to harden the target or make your home more difficult to enter. Remember, the burglar will simply bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill and tools than they possess. Most burglars enter via the front, back, or garage doors. Experienced burglars know that the garage door is usually the weakest point of entry followed by the back door. The garage and back doors also provide the most cover. Burglars know to look inside your car for keys and other valuables so keep it locked, even when parked inside your garage. Use high quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on exterior doors to resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking attempts. A quality deadbolt lock will have a beveled casing to inhibit the use of channel-lock pliers used to shear off lock cylinder pins. A quality door knob-in-lock set will have a 'dead latch' mechanism to prevent slipping the lock with a shim or credit card.

  • Use a solid core or metal door for all entrance points
  • Use a quality, heavy-duty, deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt
  • Use a quality, heavy-duty, knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism
  • Use a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame
  • Use a wide-angle 160° peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches

The most common way used to force entry through a door with a wooden jamb is to simply kick it open. The weakest point is almost always the lock strike plate that holds the latch orlock bolt in place followed by a glass paneled door. The average door strike plate is secured only by the soft-wood doorjamb molding. These lightweight moldings are often tacked on to the door frame and can be torn away with a firm kick. Because of this construction flaw, it makes sense to upgrade to a four-screw, heavy-duty, high security strike plate. They are available in most quality hardware stores and home improvement centers and are definitely worth the extra expense. Install this heavy-duty strike plate using 3-inch wood screws to cut deep into the door frame stud. Use these longer screws in the knob lock strike plate as well and use at least one long screw in each door hinge. This one step alone will deter or prevent most through-the-door forced entries. You and your family will sleep safer in the future.

 

Sliding-Glass Patio Doors

Sliding glass doors are secured by latches not locks. They are vulnerable to being forced open from the outside because of these inherently defective latch mechanisms. This can be easily be prevented by inserting a wooden dowel or stick into the track thus preventing or limiting movement. Other blocking devices available are metal fold-down blocking devices called "charley bars" and various track-blockers that can be screwed down.

The blocking devices described above solve half the equation. Older sliding glass doors can be lifted up and off their track and thereby defeat the latch mechanism. To prevent lifting, you need to keep the door rollers in good condition and properly adjusted. You can also install anti-lift devices such as a pin that extends through both the sliding and fixed portion of the door. There are also numerous locking and blocking devices available in any good quality hardware store that will prevent a sliding door from being lifted or forced horizontally. Place highly visible decals on the glass door near the latch mechanism that indicates that an alarm system, a dog, or block watch/operation identification is in place. Burglars dislike alarm systems and definitely big barking dogs.

  • Use a secondary blocking device on all sliding glass doors
  • Keep the latch mechanism in good condition and properly adjusted
  • Keep sliding door rollers in good condition and properly adjusted
  • Use anti-lift devices such as through-the-door pins or upper track screws
  • Use highly visible alarm decals, beware of dog decals or block watch decal

 

Windows

Windows are left unlocked and open at a much higher rate than doors. An open window, visible from the street or alley, may be the sole reason for your home to be selected by a burglar. Ground floor windows are more susceptible to break-ins for obvious reasons. Upper floor windows become attractive if they can be accessed from a stairway, tree, fence, or by climbing on balconies. Windows have latches, not locks and therefore should have secondary blocking devices to prevent sliding them open from the outside. Inexpensive wooden dowels and sticks work well for horizontal sliding windows and through-the-frame pins work well for vertical sliding windows. For ventilation, block the window open no more than six inches and make sure you can't reach in from the outside and remove the blocking device or reach through and unlock the door.

In sleeping rooms, these window blocking devices should be capable of being removed easily from the inside to comply with fire codes. Like sliding glass doors, anti-lift devices are necessary for ground level and accessible aluminum windows that slide horizontally. The least expensive and easiest method is to install screws half-way into the upper track of the movable glass panel to prevent it from being lifted out in the closed position. As a deterrent, place highly visible decals on the glass door near the latch mechanism that indicates that an alarm system, a dog, or block watch/operation identification system is in place.

  • Secure all accessible windows with secondary blocking devices
  • Block accessible windows open no more than 6 inches for ventilation
  • Make sure someone cannot reach through an open window and unlock the door
  • Make sure someone cannot reach inside the window and remove the blocking device
  • Use anti-lift devices to prevent window from being lifted out
  • Use crime prevention or alarm decals on ground accessible windows

Be a Good Neighbor

Good neighbors should look out for each other. Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and the three directly across the street. Invite them into your home, communicate often, and establish trust. Good neighbors will watch out for your home or apartment when you are away, if you ask them. They can report suspicious activity to the police or to you while you are away. Between them, good neighbors can see to it that normal services continue in your absence by allowing vendors to mow your lawn or remove snow. Good neighbors can pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, and can inspect the outside or inside of your home periodically to see that all is well. Good neighbors will occasionally park in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy while you are on vacation.

Allowing a neighbor to have a key solves the problem of hiding a key outside the door. Experienced burglars know to look for hidden keys in planter boxes, under doormats, and above the ledge. Requiring a service vendor to see your neighbor to retrieve and return your house key will send the message that someone is watching. This neighborhood watch technique sets up what is called territoriality which means that your neighbors will take ownership and responsibility for what occurs in your mini-neighborhood. This concept works in both single family homes communities and on apartment properties. This practice helps deter burglaries and other crimes in a big way. Of course for this to work, you must reciprocate and offer the same services.

  • Get to know all your adjacent neighbors
  • Invite them into your home and establish trust
  • Agree to watch out for each other's home
  • Do small tasks for each other to improve territoriality
  • While on vacation - pick up newspapers, and flyers
  • Offer to occasionally park your car in their driveway
  • Return the favor and communicate often

 

Lighting

Interior lighting is necessary to show signs of life and activity inside a residence at night. A darken home night-after-night sends the message to burglars that you are away on a trip. Light timers are inexpensive and can be found everywhere. They should be used on a daily basis, not just when you’re away. In this way you set up a routine that your neighbors can observe and will allow them to become suspicious when your normally lighted home becomes dark. Typically, you want to use light-timers near the front and back windows with the curtains closed. The pattern of lights turning on and off should simulate actual occupancy. It’s also comforting not to have to enter a dark residence when you return home. The same light timers can be used to turn on radios or television sets to further enhance the illusion of occupancy.

Exterior lighting is also very important. It becomes critical if you must park in a common area parking lot or underground garage and need to walk to your front door. The purpose of good lighting is to allow you to see if a threat or suspicious person is lurking in your path. If you can see a potential threat in advance then you at least have the choice and chance to avoid it. Exterior lighting needs to bright enough for you to see 100-feet and it helps if you can identify colors. Good lighting is definitely a deterrent to criminals because they don't want to be seen or identified.

Another important area to be well-lighted is the perimeter of your home or apartment especially at the entryway. Exterior lighting on the front of a property should always be on a timer to establish a routine and appearance of occupancy at all times. Common area lighting on apartment properties should also be on a timer or photo-cell to turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn. The practice of leaving the garage or porch lights turned on all day on a single family home is a dead giveaway that you are out of town. Exterior lighting at the rear of a home or apartment are usually on a switch because of the proximity to the sleeping rooms. The resident can choose to leave these lights on or off. Security lights with infra-red motion sensors are relatively inexpensive and can easily replace an exterior porch light or side door light on single family homes. The heat-motion sensor can be adjusted to detect body heat and can be programmed to reset after one minute. These security lights are highly recommended for single family homes.

  • Use interior light timers to establish a pattern of occupancy
  • Exterior lighting should allow 100- feet of visibility
  • Use good lighting along the pathway and at your door
  • Use light timers or photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically
  • Use infra-red motion sensor lights on the rear of single family homes

 

Alarm Systems

Alarm systems definitely have a place in a home security plan and are effective, if used properly. The reason why alarms systems deter burglaries is because they increase the potential and fear of being caught and arrested by the police. The deterrent value comes from the alarm company lawn sign and from the alarm decals on the windows. Home and apartment burglars will usually bypass a property with visible alarm signs and will go to another property without such a sign. Some people, with alarm systems, feel that these signs and decals are unsightly and will not display them. The risk here is that an uninformed burglar might break a window or door and grab a few quick items before the police can respond. Also, don't write your alarm pass code on or near the alarm keypad.

Alarm systems need to be properly installed and maintained. Alarms systems can monitor for fire as well as burglary for the same price. All systems should have an audible horn or bell to be effective in case someone does break in. However, these audible alarms should be programmed to reset automatically after one or two minutes. The criminal got the message and will be long gone but your neighbors will have to listen to the alarm bell, sometimes for hours, until it is shut off. If you use a central station to monitor your alarm, make sure your response call list is up to date. Home alarms, like car alarms, are generally ignored except for abrief glance. However, if you have established and nurtured your neighborhood watch buddy system, you will experience a genuine concern by your neighbor. It is not unusual to have a neighbor wait for the police, allow them inside for an inspection, and secure the residence. A good neighbor can also call the glass company or locksmith to repair any damage, if pre-authorized by you.

The greatest barrier getting to this level of neighborhood participation is taking the first step. You can get help by calling your local crime prevention unit at the police department. Most police departments in large cities have neighborhood watch coordinators to help you set this up. You should invite your adjacent neighbors over to your home for coffee and begin the information exchange. You'll be amazed how the process runs on automatic from there.

  • Alarm systems are effective deterrents with visible signage
  • Alarm systems to be properly installed, programmed, and maintained
  • Alarm systems need to have an audible horn or bell to be effective
  • Make sure your alarm response call list is up to date
  • Instruct your neighbor how to respond to an alarm bell

 

Home Safes

Since the prices of good home safes are falling, having a safe in your home is a wise investment. Home safes are designed to keep the smash and grab burglar, nosey kids, dishonest babysitter or housekeeper from gaining access to important documents and personal property. Home safes need to be anchored into the floor or permanent shelving.

  • Use the safe everyday so it becomes routine
  • Protect the safe code and change it occasionally
  • Install it away from the master bedroom or closet

 

Operation Identification

This is a program supported by most police agencies. They recommend that you engrave your drivers’ license, not your social security number, on televisions, stereos, computers, and small electronic appliances. They suggest this so they can identify and locate you if your stolen items are recovered. I suggest that you go way beyond this step.

I recommend that you photograph your valuables in their locations around your home and make a list of the make, model, and serial numbers. This is very important for proof when filing insurance claims. You should keep this list in a safety deposit box or with a relative for safe keeping. Keep receipts of the larger items in case you need to prove the value of the items for insurance purposes. Beyond that, I recommend that you photocopy important documents and the contents of your wallet. You will be thankful that you took these steps in case your home is ever destroyed by fire or flood, is ransacked, or if your wallet is lost or stolen.

  • Identify your valuables by engraving your drivers’ license number
  • Photograph and record the serial numbers of all valuables
  • Photocopy the contents of your wallet and other documents
  • Store the copies in a safe deposit box or with a relative

 

You Are Going On Vacation - Help Burglars Take One Too!

An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist of tips to help safeguard your home while you're away.

 

  • Have good locks on all doors and windows and USE THEM!
  • Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you're away. It's a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
  • Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.
  • Stop all deliveries, or arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers and packages.
  • Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look.
  • Plug in timers to turn lights, a radio or television on and off at appropriate times. This helps to disguise the fact that you are away.
  • Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone down low. If a burglar is around, he won't be alerted to your absence by a ringing phone.
  • Don't announce your absence on answering machine messages.
  • Leave your blinds, shades and curtains in a normal position. Don't close them unless that is what you do when you are home.
  • Close and lock garage doors and windows. Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you leave your car at home, park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are being used.
  • Secure storage sheds, attic entrances and gates.
  • Tell your local police you plan to be away. Patrol officers may have the opportunity to periodically check your home.
  • Engrave your valuables as recommended in Operation I.D. This simple step will allow your stolen property to be identified and returned to you if recovered by the police.
  • Travel Safely!
  • At home or away, staying alert can save the day!
  • If you are driving, make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in suitable condition for the journey.
  • Try to have specific directions and routes to your destination.
  • If you get lost, call the local police for directions or assistance.
  • Always keep your vehicle doors and windows locked.
  • At stop lights and other traffic delays, leave enough space in front of your vehicle so that you have an escape option in case of an emergency.
  • Let someone know the route you intend to travel and your itinerary. This will help authorities in locating you if there is a need to do so.
  • Plan your trip carefully and allow for factors such as weather, fatigue, facilities for lodging, food and fuel. Be sure you have sufficient finances, either cash, travelers checks or credit cards.
  • Ask the hotel or motel staff about their security measures so you know what to expect.
  • Use the hotel safe to store your valuables during your stay.

Staying alert to safety may make your vacation much more pleasant and enjoyable. Being a victim of a crime is no fun. RELAX, have FUN, and be SAFE!

 

Selma Police Department

Home Security Checklist

Use this as a guide as you check your home for safety measures. Boxes marked “No” indicate areas where you could take action to improve your home’s security. These are just some steps that you can take to decrease the likelihood that you or your home is targeted for a crime. To print the checklist click here.

Exterior Doors:

Yes

No

All doors are locked at night and every time we leave the house - even if it's just for a few minutes.

Doors are solid hardwood or metal-clad.

Doors feature wide-angle peepholes at heights everyone can use.

If there are glass panels in or near our doors, they are reinforced in some way so that they cannot be shattered.

All entryways have a working, keyed entry lock and sturdy deadbolt lock installed into the frame of the door.

Spare keys are kept with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox.

 

 

Garage and Sliding Door:

Yes

No

The door leading into the home from the garage is solid wood or metal-clad and protected with a quality keyed door lock and deadbolt.

The overhead garage door has a lock so that we do no rely solely on the automatic garage door opener to provide security.

Garage doors are all locked when leaving the house.

The sliding glass door has a strong, working key lock.

A dowel or a pin to secure the sliding glass door has been installed to prevent the door from being shoved aside or lifted off the track.

The sliding glass door is locked every night and each time we leave the house.

 

 

Protecting Windows:

Yes

No

Every window in the home has a working key lock or is securely pinned.

Windows are always locked, even when they are opened a few inches for ventilation.

 

Outdoor Security:

Yes

No

Shrubs / bushes are trimmed to so there is no place for someone to hide.

There are no dark areas around our house, garage, or yard at night that would hide prowlers.

Every outside door has a bright, working light to illuminate visitors.

Floodlights are used appropriately to ensure effective illumination.

Outdoor lights are on in the evening ? whether someone is at home or not; or a photocell or motion-sensitive lighting system has been installed.

Our house number is clearly displayed so police and other emergency vehicles can find the house quickly.

 

Security When Away From Home:

Yes

No

At least two light timers have been set to turn the lights on and off in a logical sequence when we are away from home for an extended time period.

The motion detector or other alarm system (if we have one) has been activated when we leave home.

Mail and newspaper deliveries have been stopped or arrangements for a neighbor/friend to pick them up have been made when we go away from home for a period of time.

A neighbor has been asked to tend the yard and watch our home when we are away.

 

Outdoor Valuables and Personal Property:

Yes

No

Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are all locked with high-security, laminated padlocks.

Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are locked after every use.

Grills, lawn mowers, and other valuables are stored in a locked garage or shed, or if left out in the open, are hidden from view with a tarp and securely locked to a stationary point.

Every bicycle is secured with a U-bar lock or quality padlock and chain.

Bikes are always locked, even if we leave them for just a minute.

Firearms are stored unloaded and locked in storage boxes and secured with trigger guard locks.

Valuable items, such as television, stereos, and computers have been inscribed with identifying number approved by local police.

Our home inventory is up-to-date and includes pictures. A complete copy is kept somewhere out of the house.

 

 Selma Police Department

 

Crime Prevention for Your Vehicle

 Although a professional car thief can defeat most security measures and quickly break into and steal a locked vehicle, most vehicle break-ins and thefts are carried out by amateurs who take advantage of the carelessness of drivers in leaving vehicles unlocked, valuables in sight, etc.  The tips in this section will significantly enhance the security of your vehicle.

Preventing Theft or Break-ins

The following tips help prevent vehicle break-ins, which could lead to theft of the vehicle itself or of property items from the vehicle.

  • Park in open, well-lighted, and populated areas near your destination. Avoid parking near trucks, vans, dumpsters, and other objects that obstruct visibility and provide hiding places. Avoid parking near strangers loitering or sitting in vehicles.
  • Park in lots or garages where you don’t have to leave your keys.
  • Park in your garage, if you have one. Don’t leave your vehicle on the street, in an alley, or on your driveway. If you have to park on a street, avoid dark or isolated areas.
  • Turn off your engine, roll up all windows, lock all doors, and take your keys with you even if you are making a quick stop at a store or gas station, or even in your driveway. Close all windows and lock the trunk and hood.
  • Don’t leave spare keys in your vehicle. An experienced thief knows all the hiding places. Store spare keys in your wallet.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle in an unattended public lot for an extended period time.
  • Buy a vehicle with interior hood and truck lock releases. Install a secondary hood lock if your car does not have one.
  • Replace knob-type door lock buttons with tapered ones.
  • Install an alarm system that will sound when someone attempts to break in, move, tilt, or start your vehicle. Always activate the system when leaving the vehicle.
  • Check your vehicle if you hear the alarm sound. But don’t try to stop a person attempting to break in. Get a good description of the person and call the police.
  • Lock your vehicle with the door lock button inside your vehicle instead of with your remote control.  Thieves are now able to pick up the signals from your remote when you lock your vehicle with it.

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To prevent theft of the vehicle itself:

  • Turn your wheels sharply toward the curb when parking on a street.
  • Use anti-theft devices that can be attached to the steering wheel or column, or brake pedal. Use one every time you leave your vehicle unattended. Steering wheel locks are inexpensive and are recommended by some experts to be the most cost-effective theft deterrent on the market today.
  • Install fuel or power cut-off switches.
  • Buy a vehicle with a locking ignition or steering column.
  • Chain motorcycles and bicycles to stationary objects when unattended.
  • Consider having your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) etched on all the windows.

To prevent the theft of property from a vehicle:

  • Never leave any contents or valuables in plain sight. Remove cellular phones, audio systems, computers, packages, sport equipment, cameras, purses, etc. Lock them in the trunk before you park or take them with you. Thieves may be watching. And if you can’t replace an item, don’t leave it anywhere in your vehicle.
  • Install locking devices on batteries, wheels, audio equipment, etc.
  • Make several slices through your license plate registration sticker after it has been placed on the plate. If the plate or sticker is stolen, call the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) immediately to report the loss and get replacements.

Recovering a Stolen Vehicle or Property Taken from a Vehicle

  • Call the police immediately and provide a complete description of the vehicle and any property taken from it, including a stolen license plate.  Call 911 if the theft is in progress.  Otherwise call Selma Police Department  (334) 874-6611  Vehicles should be described by: year, make, model, color(s), VIN, insurance company and policy number, license plate number and state, and name of any tracking and locator system installed in the vehicle.  Property should be described by type, make, model, serial number, and fair market value.  (It is important to report all vehicle crimes to the SPD even if the loss is small and you are not planning to file an insurance claim.  This enables the Department to assess the magnitude and nature of the problem and assign prevention, patrol, and enforcement assets accordingly.)
  • Etch your driver’s license number on all removable valuable items, e.g., audio equipment. Also etch the number on various places on the vehicle itself.
  • Don’t leave your driver’s license in the vehicle.
  • Keep a record of the VIN, license plate number, and insurance information in your wallet or purse. Also be able to provide the information listed above for any property that might be stolen from the vehicle.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle title (pink slip) in the vehicle.
  • Install a vehicle tracking and location system that can be activated after the vehicle is reported as stolen.

Preventing Vandalism

  • Park in open, well-lighted, and populated areas near your destination. Avoid parking near trucks, vans, dumpsters, and other objects that obstruct visibility and provide hiding places. Avoid parking near strangers loitering or sitting in vehicles.
  • Park in your garage, if you have one. Don’t leave your vehicle on the street, in an alley, or on your driveway. If you have to park on a street, avoid dark or isolated areas.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle in an unattended public lot for an extended period time.
  • Buy a vehicle with interior hood and truck lock releases. Install a secondary hood lock if your car does not have one. Also install a locking gas tank cap.

Buying a Used Vehicle

  • Be suspicious of a ridiculously low price or a fresh paint job on a late model vehicle.
  • Make sure the seller is the owner named on the vehicle title. Don’t be afraid to ask to see some photo identification.
  • Verify past insurance and financing, and current registration and license plate sticker.
  • Make sure the VIN has not been tampered with and matches the number on the vehicle title.
  • Obtain both sets of the original keys.
  • Make sure registration fees paid to dealer are sent to DMV promptly.

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Selma Police Department

Crime Prevention

General Safety Tips

 

 

General tips for staying safe in a variety of situations include walking, jogging, shopping or riding.

 

  • Stay alert at all times and tuned into your surroundings, wherever you are. The wearing of headphones while walking or jogging can reduce your level of alertness.
  • Plan your route in advance, and vary your routes whenever possible.
  • Get to know the neighborhood and neighbors where you live and work. Find out what stores and restaurants are open late and where police and fire stations are located.
  • When walking or jogging, use busy streets: avoid shortcuts through deserted parks, vacant lots and unlit passages.
  • At night, walk or jog only on streets with plenty of light and traffic, and avoid walking alone if possible.
  • Walk on the part of the sidewalk close to the street, away from shrubbery, trees, or doorways. On less busy streets at night, it is sometimes safer to walk in the street rather than on the sidewalk.
  • Stand tall and walk confidently. Don’t make it obvious if you are in unfamiliar territory.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave it right away and get help if necessary.
  • Don’t carry large sums of cash. If you do carry cash, do not display it in public.
  • If possible, carry only identification, phone number and the credit cards you will need. Keep a list at home of credit cards and other important material you would need to replace in case of loss.
  • Separate your house keys from your car keys. Women should keep their keys in places other than their purses. If your purse is snatched, you will still have your keys.
  • Keep names and phone numbers of relatives or friends on your person, in case of an accident or emergency.
  • Consider carrying a whistle or other noisemaker, and sound it loudly if you are accosted or feel threatened.
  • Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Thieves often work in pairs: One may bump you or cut you off, while the other is picking your pocket.
  • A good purse is one with a flap that folds over the opening, fastens at the bottom, and often has an interior zipper. A purse that you can easily open is a purse from which a thief can easily steal.
  • Purses should be carried close to the body, under an exterior garment, and slung across the body. Flaps should be secured and turned towards the body at all times.
  • Wallets should be carried inside coat pocket and cash in a front pocket. A rubber band tied several times around a wallet can increase friction and make it easier for you to notice if someone is trying to pickpocket you.
  • Avoid wearing excessive jewelry. In particular, keep necklaces and bracelets inside your clothing.
  • Don’t discuss personal information with strangers.
  • Before entering an elevator, look at the persons already in the car. If you are uneasy, wait for the next elevator.
  • If a suspicious person enters an elevator and you are uneasy, then get off right away.
  • If you notice a person in an elevator has not pushed a floor indicator button, do not get off at your floor. Go back to the lobby and report the suspicious activity.
  • Stand near the control buttons. If threatened or attacked, sound the alarm and push several floor buttons if possible.

 

Selma Police Department

Vacation Check List

Information Provided by the Selma Police Departmen

You Are Going On Vacation - Help Burglars Take One Too!

An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist of tips to help safeguard your home while you're away. 

  • Have good locks on all doors and windows and USE THEM!
  • Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you're away. It's a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
  • Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.
  • Stop all deliveries, or arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers and packages.
  • Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look.
  • Plug in timers to turn lights, a radio or television on and off at appropriate times. This helps to disguise the fact that you are away.
  • Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone down low. If a burglar is around, he won't be alerted to your absence by a ringing phone.
  • Don't announce your absence on answering machine messages.
  • Leave your blinds, shades and curtains in a normal position. Don't close them unless that is what you do when you are home.
  • Close and lock garage doors and windows. Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you leave your car at home, park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are being used.
  • Secure storage sheds, attic entrances and gates.
  • Tell your local police you plan to be away. Patrol officers may have the opportunity to periodically check your home.
  • Engrave your valuables as recommended in Operation I.D. This simple step will allow your stolen property to be identified and returned to you if recovered by the police.
  • Travel Safely!
  • At home or away, staying alert can save the day!
  • If you are driving, make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in suitable condition for the journey.
  • Try to have specific directions and routes to your destination.
  • If you get lost, call the local police for directions or assistance.
  • Always keep your vehicle doors and windows locked.
  • At stop lights and other traffic delays, leave enough space in front of your vehicle so that you have an escape option in case of an emergency.
  • Let someone know the route you intend to travel and your itinerary. This will help authorities in locating you if there is a need to do so.
  • Plan your trip carefully and allow for factors such as weather, fatigue, facilities for lodging, food and fuel. Be sure you have sufficient finances, either cash, travelers checks or credit cards.
  • Ask the hotel or motel staff about their security measures so you know what to expect.
  • Use the hotel safe to store your valuables during your stay.

Staying alert to safety may make your vacation much more pleasant and enjoyable. Being a victim of a crime is no fun. RELAX, have FUN, and be SAFE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime Prevention Tips

For Your Home

For Your Vehicle

General Safety Tips

Safety Check List

Vacation Check List

 

Report Suspicious Activity click here.

 

 

 

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