Don’t give thieves an opening over the holidays

Metro Service
Use any anti-theft device that your car is equipped with, and never leave packages on the seat in the open.

Guard your packages at home and in the car

■ Hemet Police Deparment / Contributed

During the holidays, police are reminding citizens to keep a close eye on your vehicles and the contents within them, and take precautions when taking delivery of online purchases.
Advice from the Hemet Police Department on staying safe during the holiday season includes a few tips that we all would be wise to follow.
First, always lock your car, use any anti-theft device that your car is equipped with, and never leave packages on the seat in the open. Place packages out of sight, preferably in your locked trunk.
For online purchases that are delivered by mail or UPS, there are a few small steps you can take to help avoid getting items stolen off your doorstep.
Track deliveries online and when you can by signing up for delivery notifications. If you will not be home during the expected delivery, look for a family member or trusted neighbor who can immediately bring the packages indoors until you can pick them up. You can also request having the post office hold onto packages for later pick-up. Another alternative may be to switch delivery locations to a place where someone will be whom you can trust.
Whether you are taking an extended trip out of town or just leaving your home for the night, do not forget about safety around your home. Utilize automatic timers on exterior lights and have someone pick up your newspaper if you are gone for a few days. Even during short trips, lock all your doors and windows and leave interior lights and a radio or television on. The Hemet Police Department offers vacation home checks. Let the department know if you will be gone for an extended time and police will add your address to the list.
Last, when you are out shopping, always be aware of your surroundings. Park in well lighted areas and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Area stores can get very busy, so if you are shopping with children, always have a plan if you get separated. Make sure your little ones know how to find the nearest employee or security person.

Members of the Hemet Police Department are concerned about citizens during the holidays and collectively wish everyone a happy, healthy – and safe – holiday season. Should you have questions, feel free to call the department at (951) 765-2400.

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