Police Offer Holiday Shopping Tips to Keep You Safe

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Don’t leave your big merchandise purchases in your car. It is inviting for a “smash and grab” thief.

The day after Thanksgiving, the Anne Arundel County Police Department will implement its holiday patrols and citizens can expect to see a greater police presence and increased visibility in and around shopping centers and malls. Furthermore, bike patrols will supplement the holiday patrols along with a presence of Reserve officers. DUI saturation patrols will take place leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. The Police Department will continue this proactive approach to help ensure the safety of all county residents and visitors patronizing county businesses. Please remember the following safety tips:

  • Keep your keys in your hand when walking out to your car
  • Park your vehicle as close as possible to street lights
  • Take advantage of mall escort services to your vehicle
  • Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity as criminals may attempt to distract you in an attempt to take your money or belongings
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of money and keep your wallet or money in your front pockets
  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times
  • Store all merchandise in your vehicle out of view, preferably in a secure place such as the trunk of your vehicle
  • It is also strongly encouraged to keep devices such as portable GPS units, laptop computers and MP3 listening devices out of view
  • Record serial numbers off of items or take pictures of serial numbers and items in the event your belongings are lost or stolen

As we approach the holiday season, we want to warn you of criminal activity commonly known as “front porch shopping”, where criminals will follow delivery trucks and remove items left for delivery. If you are expecting a package and cannot be there to take delivery, we make the following recommendations:

  • Arrange for a neighbor to take delivery
  • Contact your shipper and have the package rerouted to a place of trust
  • Demand signature proof of delivery
  • Have your Fedex and UPS packages sent directly to one of their local stores or distribution centers to be held for pickup
  • Have the package delivered to your workplace
  • Keep your tracking number and closely follow the progress of your package on-line
  • If you see any activity that would suggest someone is following one of the delivery trucks or you see someone remove a delivered package, immediately call 911.

From all of us here at the Anne Arundel County Police Department, we hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you.

 

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About Mitchelle Stephenson

I've gotta tell Mitchelle! Send your South County news tips, brag on your fab volunteers, talk traffic, police and fire or just say "howdy" to Mitchelle Stephenson, co-founding editor of the South River Source. Mitchelle@SouthRiverSource.com or reach me in person on mobile: 410-353-4706.

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