Sheriff’s tips to prevent crime during holidays
With the holiday season here the Carson City Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the community of some precautions that will reduce the chances of becoming a victim.
While many will be shopping for the best deal on Christmas presents criminals will be planning ways of how to take advantage of those who will be distrcted.
During this time of the year there’s an increase in vehicle burglaries and home burglaries. Most recently within Carson City there have been reports of someone going door to door during the day claiming to be with one of the utility companies such as the power company or gas company. These individuals typically do not have any proper form of identification, are asking questions about who lives at the home, are asking to come inside or to be shown around the property. The majority of the time they are simply trying to find out if anyone is home at the moment when they approach the residence. When they have discovered no one is home is when they are targeting the home itself by forcing their way inside or trying to find an unlocked door or window.
Do not allow anyone into your home you don’t know or have verified to be employed by a trusted company you have asked services from. Do not open the door to strangers and do not be afraid to ask for identification from someone soliciting your business. All solicitors are required to provide you a copy of their permit in order to go door to door in Carson City.
The Carson City Sheriff’s Office will be increasing patrols in and around all major shopping areas in the community starting this week. These patrols will be done by patrol deputies, reserve deputies, and VIPS (volunteers in partnership with the Sheriff) program.
• Make sure all doors and windows are locked, including those on vehicles. Nearly half of all burglaries are done with no force, which means they were able to get in through unlocked doors and windows.
• Have a trusted neighbor or family member pick up newspapers or packages if you are going to be gone for any length of time.
• Tell a trusted neighbor or family member of your travel plans so they can keep an extra eye on the home and so they can call the Sheriff’s Office for any suspicious activity.
• Make your home look occupied, leave lights/radios/televisions on or think about putting them on timers so they are coming on and going off during different times of the day or night.
• Close and lock your garage.
• Have the Post Office hold your mail if going away on vacation.
• Never leave notes on the door saying you’re away.
• Keep valuables and packages out of sight as much as possible.
• Do not store gifts, packages, and items in your vehicle or outside.
• After the holidays, break down any boxes before putting them out for the trash such as TVs, cell phones, computers, and electronic games rather than advertising them to criminals of what new items you just purchased and are available to steal in your home.
• Document serial numbers and etch or mark items in such a way in order to later identify them when recovered if theft occurs. Criminals do not want marked items because it’s harder to fence and there’s evidence of guilt if they are caught with them.
• Exterior doors should have “dead bolt” locks.
• Sliding doors and windows should have auxiliary locks to bolster security.
• Consider alarms systems.
• Be observant, avoid dark areas, suspicious persons, stay near other people, be prepared to flee potential problems, and keep your finger on the key “alarm” button when walking to and from your vehicle.
• When using ATMs avoid someone loitering around the location or someone who simply just doe’nt look right, trust your instincts. Protect your PIN when entering it while using credit cards.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Appear alert in appearance, be aware of your surroundings, hold on to your purchased items and don’t leave them unattended.
• When parking your vehicle lock your doors and roll up your windows. Don’t leave keys inside the vehicle.
• Don’t leave valuables visible inside the vehicle; store them in the trunk when possible or locked in the glove box/compartment.
• Keep your wallet or purse with you at all times.
• Don’t leave out items with personal information on them.
• Don’t leave children or pets unattended in the car.
• Don’t leave a running vehicle unattended; it only takes a thief seconds to take the vehicle if it’s locked by breaking the window.
• Don’t overload yourself with too many items. Take large purchases such as televisions, computers, and jewelry directly home instead of leaving them in a vehicle.
The Carson City area has seen its share of phone scams during the past year. The Sheriff’s Office will never call saying you must send us money due to an unpaid citation, criminal charges, for missing jury duty, or because you have a warrant. Fees related to such an issue are handled by the courts and normally handled in person at the Court itself or by mail.
Report suspicious activity right away to the dispatch center at 887-2007 or 887-2008.