ARCADIA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Crime Trend Information for Arcadia businesses
Holiday safety reminders
The holiday season is rapidly approaching and along with the celebrations and shopping come various crimes committed by those that will take advantage of others during this often hectic time of year. Here are a few reminders of what to look out for.
Pay close attention to your property when shopping. Do not leave your purse, wallet, cell phone, etc. unattended or out of sight for even a few seconds. Keep your purse closed and in front of your body. Consider carrying your wallet and cell phone in your front pocket instead of your back pocket. Do not leave purchased items unattended. It is easy to forget them and it only takes a few seconds for them to disappear in a crowded shopping area. Remember others may be watching and waiting for any opportunity to steal your property.
When getting gasoline be sure to take the keys and lock the car.
“Hide it Lock it keep it”.
Burglary is entering a four walled structure or locked vehicle with the intent of committing petty theft or any felony.
For your home and business be sure to keep doors and windows locked and do not forget upstairs.
Keep doors and windows clear of things that can obstruct the view of them such as foliage and movable objects. Consider an alarm system, motion detector lighting, and/or a camera system. Some camera systems can be remotely viewed. Signs indicating the home is alarmed can help and a dog is also a good deterrent.
The inside of all businesses should have good lighting and security cameras. For retail sales, all displayed goods should be arranged in a way that allows a clear view by store personnel.
Photograph goods for sale and record the serial numbers. This is easily done using your cell phone camera.
Theft from vehicles often occurs when shopping. Be sure to fully close all of the windows, lock the doors and set the alarm. Park your vehicle in and area that is clearly visible.
If you are storing packages inside the vehicle do your best to hide them from view. Put them in the trunk or cover them. If you plan to put packages in the vehicle and then continue shopping move your vehicle to another parking space. This will lead someone who is watching for an opportunity to steal into believing that you are leaving.
Always be sure to stay alert when leaving and returning to your vehicle. When loading packages into your vehicle do not leave your purse in the shopping cart or put it on the vehicle, instead first secure it inside the vehicle or trunk and then load your purchased items. Keep the vehicle doors locked when you are inside and do not let anyone convince you to get out.
Do not hesitate to report all suspicious persons and vehicles to the police, store security or store personnel.
When getting gasoline be sure to take the keys and lock the vehicle.
Robbery is the taking of another persons’ property by means of force or fear.
If you are being robbed cooperate with the robber. Do not resist but be a good witness. There is nothing material that is worth your life. Make a mental note of the description of the robber’s, sex, race, height, weight, clothing, voice, hair, facial hair, tattoos, direction of travel and vehicle. Once you are safe, immediately call the police. Write down the robber description and what exactly what was said.
Phone and donation scams
The holidays are a time of giving. Scam artists know this and will take advantage of the opportunity. Do not be fooled into giving to any donation that you cannot first verify as to being legitimate.
Do not give any information to anyone calling on the phone regardless of who they say they are. If you cannot positively identify who is calling there is no reason to give them information or act on their request or orders. The courts, IRS, DMV and all other public services almost never call your home. If you receive a call from someone identifying themselves as a public service hang up, look up the real phone number and then call the service yourself to verify the call. This also applies any other callers requesting information including doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc.
If someone is at your door and identifying themselves as the police look out to see who is really at the door. If you cannot see a uniformed police officer or marked police car, call “911”. If it is the police the “911” operator will tell you and if not they will send the police. Be extra cautious of anyone posing as a service worker for electric, gas, water, phone or city regardless of their uniform.
If in doubt call the police to check them out before allowing anyone into your home or into your backyard.
Fraudulent gift cards and credit/ATM cards
Be cautious when purchasing gift cards. Look carefully at the gift card and if it appears to have been tampered with in any way do not purchase it. Criminals will open the gift cards, obtain the card information, reseal it and then return the card to the sales display. Later the criminal calls the card company to check the balance. Once they discover there is a positive balance on the card they can use it usually for online purchases. The legitimate holder of the card later discovers it has a zero balance when they try to use it.
Be cautious when presenting a gift card for purchase where you cannot keep your eyes on the card. Criminals will keep used gift cards and then exchange your card with an already used card. The criminal will then tell you that the card you presented had a zero balance and returns a similar card with a zero balance to you. Later the criminal uses your legitimate card.
Credit and ATM / access cards can be easily counterfeited altered and forged. Be cautious when accepting these cards. Make use of the “chip” and do not hesitate to ask for identification (govt. issued ID). If the presenter of the card refuses to provide identification do not accept the card.
Have a happy and safe holiday season and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Arcadia Police Department
Community Affairs Liaison