The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. The following list of safety tips may help you this holiday season. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors. The Atherton Police Department wishes you a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season.
- Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
- Keep car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
- When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
- Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
- Teach young children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security.
- Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.
- Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
- Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
- Arm your security system when you leave, even for brief periods.
- When leaving home for an extended time, you may ask the Atherton Police Department to check it while you’re away. You should also have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
- Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
- Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
- When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
- Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
- If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
- Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.
- Record serial numbers of valuable items.
- Mark valuables and gifts with your California Driver License or Identification Card number. (Do not use your Social Security Number.)
- For items that cannot be marked with an engraver, photograph or videotape them.
Strangers at Your Door
- Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
- It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
- Contact the Atherton Police if you believe someone is soliciting without a permit.
- Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
- Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests.
- Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink at all.
- Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Eat high protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system.
- Remember only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body.
- Know your safe limit.
- Never drink and drive!