Many will be leaving to travel this coming month to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This can increase the potential to be a victim of a crime.
Don’t let thieves ruin your travel plans, by stealing directly from you, burglarizing your home while you are gone, or stealing your credit card or identity information.
Don’t advertise your trip before you go, or while on it
- Social media can be exploited and unknown people in your circles will know when you are gone.
- Strangers may overhear you bragging about the trip you are about to take (or even acquaintances – children of friends, an older brother of your child’s friend, someone in the hair salon).
Be aware when packing ahead of time
- While loading up for your trip look around for strangers or untrusted neighbors watching. They may decide to either steal from your pre-packed vehicle or to burglarize your home after you leave.
Make it look like you are still home
- Have mail, deliveries and newspaper held. Or, better yet, have a trusted neighbor pick them up each day.
- Garbage and recycling cans. Have that same trusted neighbor put your cans out and bring them in at appropriate times.
- Have the lawn cut or sidewalk shoveled.
- Have a few lights and radios set on timers.
Lock every door and window and set your alarm
- Make sure your alternate keyholders will be in town if there is an activation at your house.
Be careful with cash and cards
- While on your trip, be extra careful with bank cards.
- Call your credit card company first to let them know you are going (otherwise, their computers may spot your out-of-town purchases, deem them as suspicious, and shut the card down.)
- Use a credit card rather than debit card so if it is compromised, thieves won’t get your real money out of your checking or savings account.
- Limit cash you carry, if you do have a lot of cash, split it up in different locations in luggage or on your person.
Be responsible with firearms while travelling
- If you take one along do not leave it in the glovebox to be stolen. Look up laws state-to-state that apply to gun storage or carrying.
Be aware at hotels
- Look up crime stats around the hotels you plan to use, adjust reservations as necessary.
- Do not let strangers follow you in through side entrances (where you had to use your card-key for entry).
- Empty valuables, GPS, I-Pods, etc. from your vehicle at night. Take them in the room.
When you return
- Before you go in the house, do a quick walk-around and make sure you don’t see any windows or doors broken or anything else wrong. If you do see where someone may have entered you home do not go in! Back away and call 911. Wait for police to arrive and clear the interior for your safety.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!