With Christmas just around the corner, this is one of the biggest seasons for bad guys. So here are some helpful tips to keep you and your family safe this Christmas, and really any time of year.
1. Keep a large blanket in your vehicle. Not only does this help keep you warm if your car breaks down in the middle of winter, you can also use it to cover the gifts in the back seat of your car. This is literally window shopping for bad guys. While you’re shopping from store to store, you probably aren’t thinking about the bad guys that are shopping from car to car. Keep your gifts covered. While it is obvious that there is something under there, the bad guy doesn’t know if it is dog food or the newest game system, so it is less likely that he will risk getting caught without being sure it is worth the reward.
2. Speaking of window shopping. Do not set your Christmas trash on the curb. This is also a shopping list for bad guys. By putting the big screen, computer or game system boxes on the curb, you eliminate the hassle of the bad guy having to peep in your windows to see if your house is worth robbing. Ask your boss if you can use the companies dumpster. If that isn’t an option, at least cut up the boxes small enough to fit into trash bags. If for some reason that seems like too much work, at least take your trash to the dump this one time. You already spent $1000 on a new t.v., you can afford the extra few bucks to keep your home safe, by taking the trash to the dump.
3. When leaving your family Christmas gathering, take your gifts to the car with you when you leave, don’t take them out earlier and assume they’ll be safe just because your car is in you brother’s driveway. This goes back to example number one.
4. Bad guys know you have stuff. What I am talking about is when you are leaving the stores or even your family’s house, the bad guys know that you have money, car keys, and gifts. Park in a well-lit area. Bad guys don’t like to be identified. Also, make sure your keys are in your hand and the proper key is ready to be used by the time you reach your vehicle. This will keep you from a “head down” situation at your driver’s door, and basically being a sitting duck for the bad guy.
5. Don’t brag! If you work in an environment where you aren’t really close with the people that you work with or in a service industry where the majority of people you encounter are strangers, bragging about what you got for Christmas is a big no-no. Most home robberies are done by people that the victim knows. If you happen to work with someone that has questionable morals, you may be their next target. As for the service industry side of it, think about all the conversations that you overhear at the gas station, grocery store or general market. It is not out of the realm of possibility for a bad guy to overhear you talking to your co-worker and then wait for you in the parking lot with the intention of following you home.
Stay safe this holiday season!