The reality of the world we live in is that many people are victimized when the crime could have prevented. Most of us understand the risk of leaving items in our car or leaving outgoing mail in our home mailbox. Here are a few tips that aren't conditional, and apply to all of us. The EASP gets a call or reads about a crime related to one of these subjects almost every day. Yesterday there were numerous reports of stolen outgoing mail, which is what triggered the need for people to hear these messages again.
- Remove all items from your car, not just items of value. This includes your trunk. If you absolutely have to leave items of value in your trunk, put them in the trunk prior to arriving at your destination. You don't want a potential thief to see you placing a laptop bag or a package in your trunk as you exit your car. And even if a thief doesn't see your laptop, seeing your exposed cigarette lighter means that you may have a phone or other electronic device in the vehicle. Even junk or empty bags may lead someone to believe that there is something of value inside the vehicle.
- Stop leaving outgoing mail in your mailbox. This goes for all mail. Checks are a huge target and at the top of the list of what thieves want. If you need to pay anyone, your bank's bill pay service can pay a company or any person. Most bill pay services are easy to setup and use, and you can make payments from any electronic device including a tablet or smartphone. If you don't trust your bank, you can always drive to the local mailbox or post office if you have outgoing mail.
- Don't leave your car running unless you're in it. Whether in your driveway or at the gas station, this is a frequent cause of vehicle theft. It's better to be too hot or too cold when you first get in the car than to have it stolen.
- Turn your alarm on every time you leave the house. Many burglaries occur because someone sees you leave the house. The fact that you'll be back in 20 minutes or an hour is not known to the criminal. That's plenty of time for them to commit a crime. While setting your alarm won't guarantee that they don't get it in, it is a deterrent. More importantly, it means that the burglars will grab a couple things and run. If no alarm is going off, they'll be able to ransack your whole home.