Crime During the Holidays

By Dunwoody Police Department i November 24, 2020

It’s that time of year again. A time for holiday cheer and gifts and… crime? Yep. Holiday crime is something that you do not think about but occurs at alarming rates. This is not only because people tend to carry more cash around this time of the year, but thieves know cars and homes are full of valuable items and gifts.

General Holiday Safety and Crime Prevention Tips

At Home

  • Make sure all doors and windows have secondary locks (window pins, deadbolts, dowels, etc.) and use them!
  • Don't hide spare keys in mailboxes or planters, or under doormats.
  • Ensure that dark areas and entrances have outdoor lights that are turned on after dark or are activated by sensors.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed so they do not conceal doors and windows. Remember, overgrown foliage can provide a hiding place for criminals.
  • Place gifts where they can't be seen from the outside.
  • Consider safe deposit boxes for coin and stamp collections, seldom-worn jewelry, stock bonds, etc.
  • Be sure to mail cards, checks or gift certificates from the Post Office or at a blue U.S. Postal Service collection box.
  • Lock your vehicle and remove all the valuables. Yes, even in your driveway.

Your vehicles

  • Lock your car doors.
  • Take your valuables with you. (This includes keys, cell phones, wallets/purses, GPS units, computers, weapons, and jewelry).
  • Or, at least, Hide those valuables so they aren’t in plain sight.

Strangers at your Door

  • Use caution anytime there is a stranger at your door.
  • Be suspicious of unexpected sales calls or deliveries.
  • Be aware of scams that criminals commit to take advantage of people's generosity during the holidays.
  • Investigate charities before making donations. Ask how the funds will be used.  

Leaving for the Holidays

  • Ask a trusted friend, neighbor or Neighborhood Watch member to watch your home.
  • Use timers for lights and radios while you're away.
  • Remember to make arrangements for mail and newspapers.

After the Holidays

  • Don't advertise expensive toys, electronics, or other gifts received by the boxes left for garbage collections. Compress or cut up large boxes and place them in black garbage bags for pick-up.
  • Add new items to your home inventory. Take photos or video of all items of value in your home and list each item's make, model, serial number and other information.
  • Engrave new items to help identify them in the event they are stolen.

Avoid Porch Theft: 5 Tips to Protect Your Packages

  • Network with Neighbors
  • If possible, have Packages Delivered to Work
  • Leave Specific Drop-off Instructions
  • Use a Smart Lock
  • Install Security Cameras

Tips to Avoid Package Theft

  • Get a P.O. Box as Your Local Post Office
  • Use Lockers
  • Set Up Notifications to Track Your Packages
  • Install a Security Camera
  • Get Your Packages Delivered to Your Job
  • If you live in an apartment or condominium, have packages delivered to the office
  • Require a Signature on Delivery
  • Reschedule Delivery or Ask for a Package Hold When on Vacation
  • Try Smart Locks
  • Get a Package Guard
  • Insure Your Packages
  • Consider installing surveillance cameras around your home
  • Ask Your Neighbors to Grab Your Packages

What to do if you've become a victim of a porch pirate

  • Check with your delivery company to make sure your package was actually delivered.
  • Know exactly what’s in the missing box.
  • If you see the thief, pay attention to what his or her vehicle looks like and its license plate number. Second to that, get the thief’s physical description – gender, approximate height and weight and what they’re wearing – so you can tell an officer.
  • Call 911 and ask for an officer to come to your home.
  • If you have a security camera on your home, get a copy of the video to police. Ask your neighbors if their cameras captured the thief in action.
Lastly, please remember: If you See Something, Say Something! We need your eyes and ears to let us know what's going on in our community.

The Dunwoody Police Department is located at 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road Dunwoody, GA 30338.  For Non-Emergency calls please dial  678.382.6900. Follow the Dunwoody Police Department on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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