As the holidays approach, many local residents will be out and about shopping, preparing, and enjoying the season. It’s often this time of year that people can get distracted by holiday bliss and inadvertently overlook crime prevention and safety. The Oakdale Police Department will be out with an increased presence in the city’s commercial areas during this time, working to intercept crooks before they ruin someone’s holiday season.
Here are some safety tips from the Oakdale Police Department staff designed to remind you of ways to maximize your safety and reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime this holiday season.
Even though you may feel rushed and thinking about a lot, stay alert to your surroundings.
Avoid displaying large amounts of cash.
Be extra mindful of the location of your wallet and/or purse. Avoid leaving purses on shopping carts or the backs of chairs in restaurants.
After you have completed a purchase, make sure you place your wallet and all of your credit cards back in your purse or pocket.
When using an ATM or Point of Sale keypad, shield your code from anyone who is standing near you in an attempt to view your transaction or obtain your PIN. Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
Ensure you lock doors and windows when you leave the house.
When leaving home for an extended time, have the Oakdale Police Department conduct vacation house checks. Contact the police department at (209) 847-2231 for more information.
Keep your porch light on from dusk to dawn, or better yet use timers and/or motion detectors.
Don’t advertise that you are out of town on your social media account.
Always lock your car, even if it’s only a few minutes, and never leave your vehicle unoccupied with the engine running.
Don’t leave valuables (purses, spare change, purchases) in plain view; conceal them in your vehicle, preferably in the trunk.
Use secure sites for online transactions. Make sure the online retailer’s address you’re shopping at starts with https:// ensure the “s” is in the address line.
Don’t leave delivered mail or packages unattended. Consider an alternative shipping address where someone will be home during the day to receive it.
Always report a theft to the police. For thefts in progress or suspicious activity actively occurring, call 911; otherwise, call the Oakdale Police Department’s non-emergency number at (209) 847-2231.
Most of all have fun and enjoy the holidays with family and friends and if you drink please don’t drive; designate a sober driver ahead of your events.