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Crime Tips

How can I enhance my personal safety?

Stay Safe at Home

Always lock your doors and windows even when leaving for "just a minute."

Never leave a house key available under a doormat, in a flowerpot, or on the ledge of a door. These are the first places a burglary will look!

All exterior doors should be made of solid core wood or metal and have dead bolt locks with at least a one-inch throw that extends into the frame.

Increase the security of sliding glass doors and windows by installing additional security locks. To prevent the door or window from being lifted out of the track, drill a hole through the door/window frame and the fixed frame; then insert a pin into the hole.

Install a peephole in your front door. NEVER open the door to someone you don't know!

Use timers so that lights, radios, and televisions go on and off throughout the house to give the appearance that someone is home.

Install exterior lights on timers that illuminate your doors and windows at night.

Cut shrubbery back so it doesn't hide doors or windows. Cut back any tree limbs that a burglar could use to climb to an upper-level window.

Ask to see the identification for any repairman or delivery person before opening your door. If you are suspicious, call to verify.

If a stranger asks to use your phone, offer to make the call for them. Have the person wait outside.

Never let a stranger know you're home alone, whether the person is at your door or on the phone.

Street Precautions

Know where you're going and the safest route to your destination.

Walk at a steady pace, with your head up. Look confident and avoid looking down at the ground.

Stay in well-lit areas and choose routes where other people will be walking. Walk with a friend whenever possible.

If someone is following you on foot, cross the street and head towards a busy area. If a vehicle is following you, turn around and walk in the opposite direction.

Carry a whistle or personal alarm. The noise may scare off an attacker.

Vary your route while jogging or biking. Avoid isolated areas and exercise with a friend whenever possible.

If you carry a purse, hold it securely between your arm and body.

If you are wearing personal audio devices (I-pods / MP3 players) or using cell phones, keep them out of site to avoid being an easy target for a street robbery.

Driving

Avoid fumbling for your keys; have them in your hand as you approach your car.

Always check the back seat for uninvited guests before getting inside.

Keep enough gas in the tank so you won't get stranded.

While driving, keep all doors locked and windows rolled up most of the way.

Stay on well-traveled, well-lit roads.

If you are being followed by another car, drive into an open gas station, stay in your car, and ask the attendant to call the police. Better yet, drive straight to the nearest police station for assistance. Park only in well-lit areas at night.

Check for strangers who might be "casing" the area before you exit your car. Honk your horn and drive away if such a person advances toward you.

If you are "rear-ended" by another vehicle, motion for the driver to follow you to a public place. "Bump and rob" artists stage such accidents to lure unsuspecting drivers out of their cars to rob them of their wallet or purse. If a driver won't follow you, obtain as thorough a description as you can and report the incident to the police.