Crime Prevention Corner Include safety, crime prevention when planning a vacation

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        Summer vacation season is in full swing. As you hit the road or take to the skies, there are a few crime prevention tips you should keep in mind to make your time away safe and enjoyable.
        One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are away from home involves use of social media to share their pictures and stories. This leaves open the chance for someone to know they are not at home, exposing their places of residence to break-ins and thefts.
        Please consider waiting until you are back home to post vacation pictures and stories to prevent returning home to an emptier house.
        Before you leave for your trip, make sure your home is secure. Lock all doors and windows and ask a trustworthy neighbor or relative to keep an eye on things while you are away. In Lake Township, our department offers a free service in which officers check your home on a regular basis.
        Make sure you call the post office or go online to arrange to hold your mail until you have returned. Do the same for any newspapers you may have delivered to you. Nothing tells a thief no one is at home better than mail and/or newspapers not being retrieved. In the alternative, have a trusted neighbor, friend or relative get mail and newspapers, but have them do it daily.
        As you travel, you will probably be having more items in your vehicle than normal. If your vehicle has a trunk, put your belongings in that trunk to keep them out of sight. If you have an SUV or other vehicle that doesn’t allow items to be hidden under some type of cover, take a blanket or sheet you can use to hide the items.
        If you are staying in a hotel while you are vacationing, use the extra locking mechanism on your door when you are in the room. This mechanism probably looks like a ball on the end of a movable metal strip that fits inside another metal strip. Some doors may have a chain mechanism that is another security device to keep others out.
        Most hotels have a peep hole in the door to allow you to look to see who is knocking before you open the door. If you have any questions about someone knocking who says they are hotel employees, ask them to hold up hotel ID to the peep hole before you open the door.
        Lock the doors on your vehicle each time you leave it, no matter how long you intend to be away. That includes breaks for meals and restroom use.
        Beware of people who may approach you when you stop along the way. Very recently, we had a case involving a man, a senior, from out of state who was approached by three men when he stopped to refuel. One of the men asked him how much money he had on him, asking the traveler if he would like to double his money. As the victim counted out his money, one of the men grabbed the cash and all three jumped into a vehicle and sped away. The senior was out about $750 – all the cash he had on him.
        This brings up another point. Try not to carry much cash when you travel. Use credit or debit cards for your transactions whenever possible.
        Also, before you insert a card into a gas pump, ATM or other device, look to see if there are any unusual devices on the card slot. Card skimmers may have been placed on the slot, allowing thieves to get your card information that could result in the emptying of your accounts and fraudulent activity.
        Including safety and crime prevention precautions in your vacation planning efforts will pay big dividends.
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association