AUBURN, Mass. – The Auburn Police Department wants residents to remain safe and have a crime-free holiday season. The following are holiday crime prevention tips from Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Lourie.
• Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
• Don’t display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway. Store gifts before you go away on a holiday trip.
• If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or apartment appears to be occupied.
• If you take a holiday trip away from your home, have some interior lights activated by an automatic timer. Have a neighbor or family member watch your house, shovel new snow, pick up the mail, deliveries and newspaper and park his or her motor vehicle in your driveway from time to time.
• Be wary of strangers soliciting for charitable donations. They may attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays. Ask for identification, how donated funds are used, if contributions are tax deductible, etc. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers, don’t donate.
• Test your smoke detectors.
• Use only fire resistant ornaments on a holiday tree and make sure electric lights are in good working order. Don’t leave the lights on overnight or when you are away from home.
• Avoid leaving boxes from deliveries on your front step for long periods of time, especially electronics. (Computers, cellphones, tablets, etc.)
• During holiday parties, have alternative transportation for intoxicated persons. Don’t let guests drink and drive.
• Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle’s trunk, out of sight of general public. Keep you vehicle’s doors locked and windows closed.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card or debit card when possible.
• To discourage purse-snatchers, don’t overburden yourself with packages. Have your purchases delivered whenever practical or drop some off at your car before entering into different stores.
• Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket.
• Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated.
Be aware of your surroundings, stay safe and above all have a happy holiday.
If anyone would like a home security survey, contact Auburn Police Crime Prevention Officer Bryan Porcaro at 508-832-7777.
Check back to The Daily Voice for safety tips from the Auburn Fire Department.