Police Departments offer holiday safety tips

T he Whitehall Police Department has a number of tips to keep you and your family safe during the holidays whether you’re at home or shopping.

Officers are encouraging people to stay alert when they’re shopping. Always keep your packages in sight especially in high traffic areas like the food court and busy stores. It’s also a good idea to keep wallets in your front pockets and avoid carrying large amounts of cash that may attract a would-be criminal’s attention.

When you leave the mall, park in high visibility areas or if possible finish your shopping during the day. Police also advise people to avoid parking next to vehicles with dark tinted windows that may obscure who’s in the vehicle. When leaving, have your keys out, walk briskly and confidently to your car; try avoiding people handing out flyers. If you feel you’re being followed, report it to security immediately. And if possible, shop with a friend. There is safety in numbers.

At home, keep doors and windows locked and avoid putting gifts in plain sight. After the holidays, don’t advertise large gifts by placing empty boxes next to the garbage. Instead break them down and dispose of them.

Finally, if you have to travel during the holidays, leave a few lights on so it looks like people are around. And have a neighbor or family member periodically check on the home. You can also fill out a House Watch request on the Whitehall Police Department’s website at www.whitehallpolice.org and they’ll check on your residence when they are out on patrols.

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