Tips to avoid being a victim of holiday crime

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The City of Mountlake Terrace reminds residents that the holidays can be a prime time for crime and a few simple steps can help keep you safe this time of year.

Home Safety Tips: Lock doors and windows when away, even if just for a short while. Leave a light on and ask neighbors to keep an eye on your house. Use automatic timers to make it appear someone is home. When going on vacation, stop newspaper and mail deliveries. Call the city’s Police Department and ask for extra patrols in your neighborhood. Consider using a house sitter. Keep holiday gifts out of sight.

Personal Safety Tips: Walk with your head up in well-lighted and well-traveled areas. Be aware of your surroundings in parking lots, especially after dark. Don’t text or look at your phone/device while walking. If uncomfortable going into the parking lot alone, ask security to escort you. Use credit cards or checks instead of cash. Dress casually when out shopping, expensive clothes and jewelry attract thieves. Shop with a friend, even if you shop separately, and meet up later. Don’t leave your handbag unattended in your shopping cart.

Vehicle Safety Tips: Always lock your vehicle and park in well-lighted areas as close to your destination as possible. Do not leave valuables in your car, especially credit cards, checkbooks, jewelry, bank/ATM receipts, cell phones, wallets/purses, keys, mail, vehicle title, garage door openers and iPods.

Use 911 to report suspicious people and activity immediately to police. Be aware and follow these simple tips to help prevent crime during the holiday season.

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