Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Stay safe during the holidays with these tips

Maximize your common sense and follow a few simple rules to have a happy and safe holiday season. Crime always rises during this time of year, so in order to not be a victim and ruin your season, follow these simple tips:

When out and about

Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Use your cell phone sparingly so you are not distracted. Instead, stay focused on your surroundings.

Always lock your car windows and doors, whether out and about or at home.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Use credit cards or checks whenever possible. If you must use cash, carry different amounts in different pockets so as to not expose your entire amount to a potential thief.

Discourage pick pockets by being extra cautious with your purse and wallet. At the mall, carry your purse close to your side or place your wallet in your front pocket with a rubber band wrapped around it

Shop during daylight hours, when possible. At night, park close to the building and under a light. Always take a friend or two shopping with you. If necessary, have a mall or store employee escort you to your vehicle.

As you are approaching your car, have your key ready. Look under your vehicle, and then look into the back seat and the front seat. Get in quickly and lock the doors. Start your car and move to a different location to settle your packages and let your engine warm up.

Leave nothing inside of your car in view of others. Do not tempt the thieves. If you do not want your items stolen, remove them from the inside of your car. If you drive an SUV or mini van, cover your packages so that they are not visible from the outside.

When at home

Always keep your windows and exterior doors locked, even when you are at home.

Never open your door to a stranger.

Do not put large displays of gifts in front of your windows or doors so that they are visible from the street/passersby. After Christmas, cut up and conceal the larger containers that gifts came in so as to not advertise what is now inside your home to a potential burglar later on.

If you will be gone for any period of time, remember to leave a radio tuned to a talk show station and to place several lamps on overlapping timers to simulate movement inside of your home. Contact the Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol to have a vacation check done at your house if you will not have someone staying there while you are gone. The key to burglary deterrence is to make your home appear occupied at all times.

If ever you notice anything suspicious or out of place, call the Sheriff’s Department at (760) 728-1113.

Remember, the thieves are out looking for their Christmas presents, too.

Think safety!


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