Please take a few minutes to read these tips on safety and security during the holiday season. The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become distracted and exposed to theft and other holiday crime. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors. The Woodbridge Police Department wishes you a safe, happy holiday season. We know it’s a long list, but well worth the read!!
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
• If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, mall, or well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
• Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
• Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
• Avoid driving alone or at night.
• Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
• If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
• Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
• Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
• Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
• Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
• Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
• Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
• When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
• Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
• Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
• Keep cash in your front pocket.
• Notify the credit card issuer right away if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
• Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
• Be careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are easy targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses
• Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid accidents.
• Shop during daylight hours when possible.
• If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
• Dress casually and comfortably.
• Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
• Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
• Always carry your NJ Driver License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
• Stay alert to your surroundings.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
• Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
• Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
• Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
• Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.
• Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security.
• Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.
• If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
• Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
Attending a Party
• Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages.
• Eat high protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system.
• Remember only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body.
• Know your safe limit.
• Never drink and drive.
Hosting a Party
• Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
• Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests.
• Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink at all.
• Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
• When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
• If possible, leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
• Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
• When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
• Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
• If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed.
• Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
• Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
• Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.
Mark your property
• Help the police department in our efforts to find and return stolen or lost property to its rightful owner. Remember the following:
• Mark gifts using an engraver with your New Jersey Driver License or Identification Card number.
• Do not use your Social Security Number.
• Record serial and model numbers
• For items that cannot be marked with an engraver, photograph or videotape the items.
Strangers at Your Door
• Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
• It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
• Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate, and call the police.
• Donate to a recognized charitable organization.