That Familiar Knock at the Door
As the weather cools off we have a tendency to see an increase in door-to-door solicitors. Typically these “Reps” claim to work for various companies that you are familiar with. Some of these people may indeed work with or be affiliated with, a particular company, but despite their official looking embroidered shirts, they are not an actual employee of that company. This may not apply to all companies, but when it comes to the utilities, APS, CenturyLink, Cox Communications, and Southwest Gas, their employees will not come to your home unless you call for service. Keep in mind, regardless of the person’s intentions; you have every right to ask them to leave or to respond politely by saying “No thank you”, “Now’s not a good time”, or even “Sorry, I’m on a call right now”.
Have you Noticed More Police Around the Community?
This past June, the DRCA Board of Directors increased our Phoenix Police off-duty patrols. The patrols are now more frequent and for longer periods of time. During the Holiday Season, you will notice even more Phoenix Police driving around Desert Ridge. This is to help keep crime as low as possible and to keep our community as safe as possible, especially during the higher crime season of the holidays.
Holiday Safety Tips
Even with the increased police patrols, you still need to be aware of your surroundings and take appropriate precautions. 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
- 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 calling 602.495.5002.
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 480-551-4553 or email our Community Action Officer, Tim Mitten at email@example.com.