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The original item was published from 12/9/2022 10:32:46 AM to 1/1/2023 12:00:08 AM.

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Posted on: December 9, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Holiday safety tips from the Beavercreek Police Department

holiday shopping

This holiday season, don’t let the spirit of giving lull you into giving criminals an opportunity to commit a crime. The Beavercreek Police Department would like to offer the following tips to help ensure you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season: 

If you are traveling: 

  • Use automatic timers for your lights to make it seem like someone is home
  • Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel snow, and park in the driveway from time to time
  • Don't forget to have mail and newspaper delivery paused – if it piles up, it's a sure sign you're gone
  • Click here to sign up for a Vacation House Check where a police officer will periodically check on your home while you are away for an extended period of time 

If you are out for the evening: 

  • Turn on lights and a radio or TV so it looks like someone is home
  • Be diligent about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it's just for a few minutes
  • Do not display gifts where they can be seen from outside

If you are out shopping: 

  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings 
  • Shop with a friend or group 
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Keep your purse zipped and in front of you 
  • Keep your wallet in an inside coat pocket 
  • Beware of strangers trying to distract you so they can pickpocket you 
  • Park in a well-lit area and sure to lock your vehicle
  • Be sure to lock your car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk
  • Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated

If you are shopping online: 

  • Always place orders from a secure connection 
  • Know the merchant and their reputation 
  • Don’t overshare information, no online retailer will ever need your social security number or birthdate 
  • Create a strong password on websites that require it 
  • Check bank statements regularly after purchases 
  • Pay with a credit card, not debit 

Help prevent holiday package thefts: 

  • Track deliveries online – there are ways to sign up for email notifications to track packages from its shipment to arrival
  • Schedule deliveries to arrive when you will be home or to your work address 
  • Use the delivery instructions to request packages be left in a less conspicuous spot, such as a back door 
  • If you know a family member or neighbor will be home, ask them to pick up the packages as soon as they are delivered
  • Install security cameras and keep them maintained 
  • Contact your local police if you observe any suspicious activity 

Protect your vehicle: 

  • Remember, "out of sight, out of mind" - the same idea applies to items in your car
  • Help prevent your vehicle from being stolen by always locking your car 
  • Although it's cold, never leave your vehicle running while you run inside your home or a store—even if for only a minute or two

If a stranger comes to the door: 

  • Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts, so be cautious when accepting a package
  • It's not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of others' generosity during the holidays by going door-to-door for charitable donations when there's no charity involved - ask for identification, and find out how the funds will be used. If you aren't satisfied, don't give. Instead, help a charitable organization you know and love.

After you’ve opened gifts: 

  • Don’t advertise gifts received during the holidays 
  • Avoid setting boxes of high-priced items at the curb
  • If you must place boxes at the curb, break them down and turn labels inside so a passersby cannot identify contents

Enjoy the Season!
Last but not least, don't let holiday stress get the best of your holiday spirit. Make time to get together with family, friends, and neighbors! 

For emergencies, dial 911. For non-emergencies, call the Beavercreek Police Department at (937) 426-1225.

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