Holiday Shopping Safety

00-holiday-safetyWith just over a week until Christmas, shoppers will be hitting the stores hard, and so will thieves! Below are some helpful safety tips to practice while you’re out and about (and even at home), provided by the Signal Hill Police Department:

-Lock the car doors: This is the easiest thing to do, but a lot of people forget. When you park your car (even in your own driveway), lock the doors and roll up the windows. Thieves look for an easy opportunity and an unlocked car is one of the easiest.

-Don’t leave valuables in plain view in your car: Don’t leave GPS’s, cell phones, purses, laptops, or shopping purchases in plain view; even if you’re parked at home. Secure them in the trunk, but make sure no one is looking when you do so. And if you do put your items in the trunk, lock the doors since the trunk can be opened from inside the car. Better yet, take valuables out of the car entirely. Thieves can see a GPS holder, laptop stand or charger, etc. and may take the chance that the item is still in the car.

-Park in the garage, if possible: If you have a garage at home, use it. It’s more secure than your driveway. If your garage is too cluttered to get the car in, clean out the garage. The harder it is to get to your car, the less likely it is to be stolen. Casual car thieves do not want to overcome challenges that you put in their way. Never leave your keys in your car and when you are not at home, always park in a well-traveled area. You should also consider getting a steering wheel club or pedal lock.

-Park wisely: When you park your car, try to park under lights, near security cameras, or in a well-traveled area. These make it more likely that someone will see a thief messing with your car and call the police. Thieves don’t like to be watched.

-Buy a locking gas cap: While a cap won’t keep y our car form being stolen, it does make it so that if your car is stolen the thieves will have a harder time filling up. This increases the chances that they won’t get far and may be caught by police. It also helps prevent thieves from siphoning gas out of your tank – a crime that always seems to spike when gas prices rise.

-Always take your car keys with you: Never leave the car keys in the ignition or in the car. That’s just making it way too easy for the thieves.

-Never leave the car running unattended: It’s tempting to leave the car running while you run in to the coffee shop or up to the ATM. People also leave cars running in their driveways to warm them up. Don’t do it. Thieves watch for these opportunities and it only takes them a second to get in that car and drive off.

-Protect personal information: Don’t keep any paperwork with personal or financial information in the car. If a thief steals your car, they may not stop at that. Identity thieves thrive off personal information you inadvertently leave in your car. If they get banking information they can easily clean out your account. Also, with your home address, they know where you live and may decide to burglarize that too (particularly if they got your keys).

-Don’t use a hide-a-key: Even if you think it’s impossible to find, it isn’t. Thieves know where to look. Give someone you trust a spare key and call them if you have a problem, or get a service like AAA.

-Use the features you already have: Read the owner’s manual to find out what might already be included with your car. Many newer cars come with alarms, combination locks, and other security features. Figure out what you already have and use it.

Lastly, if you see someone suspicious please do not hesitate to call the Signal Hill Police Department at (562) 989-7200.

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…

parade of lights

The holiday season is in full gear and festivities in Long Beach begin this Saturday with the Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade,  Brunch with Santa: A Royal Holiday, and Parade of 1,000 Lights.

Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade will take place on Daisy Ave. at 20th St. in Long Beach from 5-7 p.m. For more information, call (562) 570-7777.

Brunch with Santa: A Royal Holiday will take place at the Signal Hill Park Community Center from 9-11 a.m. Guests will enjoy a craft activity, sing-a-long, breakfast, and a visit from a prince and princess! Tickets are $15 for Signal Hill residents and $20 for non-residents. For more information, call (562) 989-7330.

Parade of 1,000 Lights will take place at the Downtown Long Beach Marina area in Long Beach and begins at 7 p.m. For more information, call (562) 437-1391.

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