Tips for staying safe this holiday

Cayman CrimeStoppers is passing along the following tips to help you have a safe holiday season:

With the onset of cooler weather, it’s only natural to open your windows and enjoy the “Christmas breeze.” However, a rise in the number of burglaries often occurs during the holiday. Homes with windows left open could become easy targets for break-ins and thefts. Installing motion detector lights around your home can make your home a less desirable target. If you leave, be sure to keep your windows and doors securely locked and, if possible, install an alarm system for added security. Also, set your lights and televisions to come on randomly by plugging them into timers to create the appearance that someone is home.

Keep an up-to-date inventory of your valuables by using a digital camera to record the make, model and serial number of all of your belongings. Create a detailed list that may be used for insurance purposes and store this in a safe place (preferably outside of your home). Marking your valuables may also help your property be returned to you if the items are recovered by the RCIPS.

Common items that are stolen include laptops and other computer equipment, mobile phones, jewellery, CD players, iPods, iPads and gaming electronics. Basically the robbers are looking for items they can turn a profit on by quickly selling them. If someone offers to sell you something at a very low price, consider where that item may have come from. It is a crime to knowingly receive stolen goods.

When you are out doing your holiday shopping, always make sure to lock your vehicle. Place packages and electronic devices out of sight by securing them in the trunk or under a seat. If you are shopping at night, park in areas with adequate lighting and always have your key ready in your hand as you approach your vehicle.

Remain aware of your surroundings. Try to walk with others, and not by yourself, when it is dark. Most thieves prey on people who shop alone as they are easier targets.

Keep your cash, credit cards and driver’s license secure by placing them in your pockets. If you must take a purse, secure it by tucking it securely and safely under your arm rather than leaving it freely dangling off your shoulder or in a shopping cart. Take out all nonessential items and leave them at home.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Make purchases using a debit or credit card. Keep a record of all your credit card numbers in a safe place at home and report lost, stolen or misused credit cards immediately.

By following these simple safety tips you will reduce your risk of being a victim of crime.

Cayman CrimeStoppers was formed by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce to help protect the community. Cayman CrimeStoppers’ tips-line number is 800 TIPS (8477) and the online portal can be found at www.crimestoppers.ky under the ‘report a crime’ link.

Cayman CrimeStoppers is facilitating a reward of up to $50,000 put forward by the Cayman Islands government for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any persons responsible for murder, robbery or other gun-related crimes.

For more information, contact Brad Watts at 516-0000.

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