Here are some helpful tips provided by the Washington Police Department to remember before leaving the home or office for the holidays:


Here are some helpful tips provided by the Washington Police Department to remember before leaving the home or office for the holidays:

Make sure all doors and windows are properly secured. Ask a neighbor or family member to watch your house and pick up newspapers and mail.

Valuables should not be visible through the windows or doors of your home. Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer. Register for a
vacation house watch check at the police department. Officers will check your home periodically. 


When parking your vehicle, remember to:

• Park your vehicle in an area that is visible to the public and well-lit at night.

• Secure all doors and windows.

• Remove all valuables.

• Do not pack your car the night before leaving home and leave it outside. It makes a very attractive target for thieves.


Tips for the Workplace:

The holiday season is a busy time of the year for family and friends. Unfortunately, burglars like the festive holidays because there are more opportunities to steal. Please consider these tips before leaving your workplace for the holidays:

• All inner-office doors and building exterior doors should be closed and locked.

• Do not prop open an exterior door.

• Personnel working during the holidays should be aware of their personal safety. Personnel should let someone know where they are and when they are expected to return.

• All portable equipment such as tools and computers should be secured.

• Close and secure all windows.

• All valuable personal items should be removed.

• Report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police Department by calling 911.


Tips While Shopping:

• Stay alert of your surroundings.

• Shop with a friend.

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card.

• If possible, carry only your driver’s license, personal checks or necessary credit cards.

• If you must carry a purse, do not wrap the straps around your arms or shoulders. Carry a clutch purse tightly under your arm or wear a fanny pack.

• Do not carry a wallet in your back pocket. It should be placed in the front pocket of your pants for safety.

• Be alert that crooks look for the “high-dollar” shopping bags with your purchases. When possible, slip bags into a plain non-descript bag.

• Watch handbags while eating in food courts; bags can easily be switched or taken.

• Educate your children on what to do if they become lost.

• Do not overburden yourself with packages. Use the store’s package pick-up. Have your car keys ready before leaving the store.

• If you do return to your vehicle to unload purchases, place them in the trunk.

• Shop early, as fewer people are present at closing time.

• Teach your children to never talk to or go anywhere with a stranger.


Tips for the Parking Lot:

• Shop early and leave early to avoid closing times.

• Park in a high-visibility area and check for lighting in case you leave during hours of darkness.

• Do not park next to a vehicle with dark tinted windows.

• Lock all your valuables in the trunk of your vehicle.

• Leave the store with others.

• If you feel uncomfortable, ask security to escort you to your vehicle.

• Walk briskly, confidently and directly through the parking lot.

• Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area.

• Watch for people who may be following you. This can occur inside as well as outside.

• If you suspect that someone is following you, return to the store and report it to security immediately.


Tips at Home:

• Keep the outside of your home well-lit with doors locked and window curtains closed.

• Do not display gifts beneath the Christmas tree that can be seen from windows or doors.

• After the holidays, do not advertise gifts received by leaving boxes for the garbage collection. Instead, destroy or flatten for closure in a recycling bin.