The members of the Roseville Police Department wish you a joyous holiday season. Unfortunately the holiday season also brings an uptick in theft and theft from autos as shoppers travel to local malls and retail outlets to begin their gift shopping.
We’ve provided some theft from auto prevention and personal safety tips so you can avoid becoming a victim.
Theft from auto prevention tips:1. Lock your car and set your car’s alarm.2. Don’t leave a second ignition key hidden in your car. It’s surprising to learn how many peoplebelieve a thief will never find their “hidden key” when the victim reports their car stolen to thepolice.3. Secure your valuables in your vehicle’s trunk before arriving at your shopping destination. Itemssuch as back-packs, work out bags, computer cases and automobile navigation devices can betempting to a thief who wanders a mall parking lot looking in unoccupied vehicles for easy tosteal items.4. When shopping, take advantage of a store’s parcel pick-up. Many of the large retail stores allowtheir guests to store their purchases at a package pick-up site for later pick-up. If you mustsecure shopping gifts in your car, place them in your vehicle’s trunk. Once secure, drive yourvehicle to another parking location, park and return to your shopping. Police have learnedthieves watch mall parking lots for shoppers who make trips to their car, secure their purchasesand return to shopping. Once the shopper has returned to the mall, the thief breaks into the carand steals your just purchased merchandise.5. Remove all portable electronic cables from view before leaving your vehicle. Thieves look forvisible USB cables or charging devices and break into the vehicle looking for portable devices ina glove box or console.6. Remember the only thing protecting your car’s valuable property from a bad guy is a very thinsheet of glass!
Theft and personal safety tips:1. Carry only the cash and credit/debit cards you need for your shopping outing. If you must carrylarge amounts of cash, do so discreetly. Don’t advertise your cash by openly counting yourmoney in your wallet or purse. Do not carry your Social Security card. If you lose your walletcontaining your driver’s license and social security card, you WILL become a victim ofidentification theft.2. When walking, do so with purpose and keep your eyes up and scan your surroundings.3. Don’t walk and talk on your cellular phone and/or wear a head-set to listen to music. The phoneand music can be a distraction to your surroundings. When suspects are interviewed by policeand asked why he chose his/her victim, in nearly all cases, the victim is chosen because he/shewas distracted with a phone or music device. Criminals want the electronic distraction so theyare able to quickly approach their intended target without being heard.4. If someone asks to borrow your cellular phone, do so with great caution. Police are beginning totake theft reports from victims who loaned their $300-$600 smart phones to complete strangerswho then run off with the phone. If asked by a stranger to use their phone, ask if they need helpand you will call “911” to have the police assist. Otherwise point them to a nearby business withdirections to ask the business to use their phone.Finally if you see or hear suspicious activity, report it immediately to the police. If you are in anydanger, leave the area immediately and once in a safe location call the police. If you are able, use your smart phone to capture images of suspicious vehicles/persons and share those images with police.The Roseville Police Department wishes everyone a safe holiday and happy new year. The department hopes these theft prevention and safety tips will make you more aware and your holiday experience a safe one!