The Holiday season is in full swing and during this very busy time of year the Linn County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind you of some Holiday Safety Tips
If You Are Travelling
- Get an automatic timer for your lights.
- Ask a neighbor to watch your home and even park in the driveway from time to time.
- Don’t forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it’s a sure sign you’re gone.
- Drive cautiously during the cold winter months. Roads can be icy and dangerous even during dry conditions.
If You Are Out for the Evening
- Turn on lights and a radio or TV so it looks like someone’s home.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from outside.
If You Are Shopping
- Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
- Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
- Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
Protect Your Vehicle
- Loading up on all those gifts is a sign of progress in the holiday shopping. But if those packages are left out in the open after they’re in the car, your car has become a likely target for thieves. Remember the old cliché “Out of sight, out of mind?” The same idea applies to items in your car.
- Always lock your vehicle and store all items out of sight. Breaking into an empty car isn’t worth a thief’s time. However, anything left in plain view—from your holiday gifts to spare change, sunglasses, CDs, cell phones or briefcases—may tempt a thief.
- Help prevent your vehicle from being stolen by always locking your car and using anti-theft devices. And although it’s cold, never leave your vehicle running while you run inside your home or a store—even if for only a minute or two.
If a Stranger Comes to the Door
- Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts, so be cautious when accepting a package.
- It’s not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of others’ generosity during the holidays by going door-to-door for charitable donations when there’s no charity involved. Ask for identification, and find out how the funds will be used. If you aren’t satisfied, don’t give. Help a charitable organization you know and like instead.
Holiday Package Theft
- Track deliveries online and confirm delivery has occurred. You can sign up for email notifications to track your packages from initial shipment to its arrival at your home, or the recipient’s address if you have the gift delivered directly.
- If you know a family member or neighbor will be home, ask them to pick up the packages as soon as they are delivered.
- Switch delivery location to work where it can be received by someone and not left on the porch.
The holiday season is a time of celebration and revelry. Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone on the road. Remember that the risk isn’t worth it—if you choose to drink alcohol at a party, don’t drive. Take a cab, use public transportation or have a designated driver. Have fun, but remember to be responsible!
From all of us to all of you, Happy Holidays!