CRIME DOESN’T TAKE A HOLIDAY
When the holidays approach, criminal activity has a tendency to go up. That is why we increase our off-duty City of Phoenix Police patrols during this time of the year. Even though we have a strong police presence in Desert Ridge, residents are still advised to take preventative steps to reduce crime in our community. Unfortunately, we still have a lot of residents leaving side gates open, cars unlocked, and garage doors open. Since many thefts are crimes of opportunity, having awareness and taking just a few precautions can go a long way towards crime prevention.
Below are my annual holiday safety tips to help get you through the season as safely as possible.
When Shopping, or Out and About
- Take only the credit cards you need when shopping. Leave the others in a safe place at home
- When paying with a credit card, make sure that the card is not easily visible to others around you. There are crooks that can memorize your card number in a matter of seconds.
- When talking on your cell phone, be mindful of your surroundings. Distracted people are targets for purse-snatchers.
- Keep your purse or wallet close to you at all times.
- Do not carry excessive or unnecessary cash on you.
- Shop in the daylight if possible. When shopping after dark always park in a well-lit area.
- Shop with a friend when possible, because there’s safety in numbers.
- When you park your vehicle, do not leave your purse, wallet, cell phone, or any other valuables in plain view.
- When you return to your vehicle, scan the interior to be sure no one is hiding inside.
- When placing purchases from the stores in your vehicle, place them out of sight. The best place is in the trunk
- After putting packages in your vehicle, drive to different row before going to another store. Do this even if you are simply going back to the same store.
- Try not to park next to a larger vehicle that blocks your vision while you are entering or exiting your vehicle
- Have your keys out and ready when approaching your vehicle
- Make sure the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are changed.
- To help prevent vandalism, turn off inflatable decorations at a specific time. If convenient, bring them up to the front porch or close to the house.
- Keep the front of the house well lit and make sure that trees and bushes are trimmed so that doors and windows can easily be seen.
- Install an alarm system if possible.
- Beware of door-to-door charity scams.
- Keep an eye out for parcel deliveries; packages on porches are big targets
- Make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are functioning properly (Make sure that you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors)
- Do not leave boxes from your gifts in plain site before or after the holidays. A box from a flat screen T.V. is advertising to a criminal that you have what they’re looking for.
When Leaving Town
- Have mail held at the post office while you’re away.
- Use timers on lights to give the appearance that someone is home.
- Let a loved one or someone else that you trust know the route that you’re taking. This goes especially if you will be traveling in snowy or icy conditions.
- Register for Vacation Watch with the City of Phoenix Police department.
- By utilizing those tips, having heightened awareness, and by using some common sense, we can all have a safer and more joyous holiday season.
Want to Play a Bigger Role?
If you’re interested in learning how to start a neighborhood block watch program, or want information on how to participate in the Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol Program, please contact the Desert Ridge Community Association office at 480-551-4559.