Release from the Burbank Police Department:
The Burbank Police would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. We would also like to remind you that crooks love the holidays as much as everyone else, because it’s an opportune time for crime.
Think about all of the homes jam-packed with glittering gifts. Stores, malls and city streets packed with unsuspecting shoppers. It’s enough to make a crook giddy with holiday joy.
Here are some tips on how to celebrate safely this holiday season:
• Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
• Park in a well-lit areas and please LOCK your vehicle. Close all windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk. Do not leave any valuables in your vehicle.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay with a check or credit card if possible. When using credit cards, keep an eye on bank statements for any unauthorized charges.
• Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don’t overburden yourself with shopping bags and be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Carry your wallet inside a coat or in your front pants pocket.
• If you are shopping with children, teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
• Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts, so be cautious when accepting a package.
• NEVER open your door to anyone you don’t know or recognize.
• It’s not uncommon for people 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. Instead, help a charitable organization you know and trust.
• If you’re leaving, turn on lights and a radio or TV so it looks like someone’s home.
• Always lock your 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.
• After you’ve opened gifts, be cautious when throwing away boxes and packaging from expensive items in curbside trash cans. Consider breaking down the boxes and storing them for disposal in the future, after the holidays.
HOLIDAY PACKAGE THEFT:
• Track deliveries online and confirm delivery has occurred. When available, sign up for email notifications to track your packages.
• If you know a family member or neighbor will be home, ask them to pick up the packages as soon as they are delivered.
• If possible, switch the delivery location to work or a local delivery locker where it can be received by someone and not left on the porch.
• Require a signature at delivery, especially for valuable items.
• Put lights on an automatic timer.
• Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home.
• If you’ll be gone for more than a few days, have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it’s a sure sign you’re gone.
The holiday season is a time of celebration. Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone on the road and remember, DUI doesn’t just mean booze. Drug influence is just as dangerous when driving. If you choose to drink alcohol, don’t drive. Take a cab, use public transportation, or a designated driver. The Burbank Police Department will increase DUI enforcement and saturation patrols over the holiday period.
Finally, enjoy the holidays by spending time with family, friends, and loved ones. Take time to think about the spirit of the season and consider helping someone who’s less fortunate.