Holiday Crime Prevention Advice
With the holiday season upon us, the North Castle Police Department would like to provide some tips regarding awareness and safety that may help you during this busy time of the year. While the holidays are typically filled with joyous occasions, criminals view this time of year as an opportunity to steal from others. Here are some tips that may help you to avoid becoming the victim of a crime.
- Be observant. If you see someone following a delivery truck or if you notice someone suspicious going door-to-door, you should notify the police promptly. We have had several incidents through the years of people stealing packages and money left for holiday gratuities. If you are inclined to provide a gratuity for anyone, we suggest that you either give it to them directly or speak with them about the best manner in which to get it to them. Don’t leave cash outside where anyone can get it since, unfortunately, the thieves will be looking for a quick way to earn a buck.
- Lock your doors. Unlocked doors offer an easy means of entry into your home or vehicle. The number of burglaries and larcenies typically increase around the holidays. Make sure the doors, sliders and windows to your home are locked, even if you are leaving for just a few minutes. If you have an alarm system, we recommend that you use it as often it is a deterrent. It doesn’t hurt to secure your doors while you are home, as well. The theft of items left in vehicles increases during this time of the year as well, especially if the vehicle is unlocked. When possible, store your packages out of sight, such as in the trunk of the car, to help minimize the attractiveness to criminals. Take your car keys with you and lock your doors.
- Pay attention to package deliveries. If you are expecting a delivery, try to have someone at the house to accept it from the carrier. Packages left outside for several hours are inviting thieves to abscond with your deliveries. You may be able to schedule the delivery with the company, have it held at their facility or have a trusted neighbor hold the package for you if you won’t be home.
- Be mindful of scams. It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holiday season by soliciting donations for “charitable” causes. Often there is no charity is involved. If you are not sure about the validity of the charity, ask for identification from the solicitor and if you are not satisfied, do not donate. Con-artists may try to distract you while their accomplice takes your belongings or packages. Remember that there are people who will try to scam you for overdue utility bills, unpaid taxes or to bail a family member out of jail. These are scams that are perpetrated throughout the year, so verify information before you send any money.
Bottom line, be aware that these scams and crimes occur and do your best to be vigilant in maintaining the safety of you and your family. Remember: if something seems out of place in your neighborhood, report it to us as soon as possible either by calling 9-1-1 or 914-273-9500.
We wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!