Holiday Season Advice!

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      AvatarJennie Keplar

      Good Morning, Westgaters! It’s time for the annual tips to avoid crime around the holiday season! ⛄🎄🎍

      The holiday season brings a special brand of crime and theft around neighborhood, largely due to the uptick in packages arriving at homes, clues left in cars or trash bins for thieves to figure out the big ticket items you’ve purchased, and general absent-minded mistakes. Always we keep in mind that we lived in the city, and city living means people see us do things we assume no one has noticed.

      1) Packages: Have them sent to a trusted neighbor, your place of employment, or Josie’s Pizza on W. Broad St.
      It happens every year. Packages intended as presents for loved ones are snatched from porches. We’ve even had reports in the past of people following the mail and package delivery trucks. If you aren’t going to be home when your packages arrive, have your orders sent elsewhere for later pickup. Margie Dawson Orahood , the Goddess of Josie’s Pizza Hilltop, has offered to receive packages for neighbors at the store. Just remember to return the kindness with your patronage. 😉

      2) Locks! USE THEM!
      Whether it’s your car, home, garage, or gate, it’s doubly important to lock up over the holidays. Make it a habit. If you have alarm systems on your home or car, use them.

      3) Boxes for Big Ticket Items
      Thieves love it when you do their research for them. When you dispose of the box for your new, swanky computer or TV, do it at a cardboard recycling spot away from home. Take it to the bins at work or a neighborhood cardboard recycling point.

      One of the most frequent complaints is about having a car rifled through. Sometimes there’s seemingly nothing to steal, just loose change or a silvery food wrapper. Neighborhood thieves are like those birds who look for shiny objects thinking they’re maybe worth the effort. Keep your car clean. Don’t leave a pile of coins in the cupholder or phone charger cords visible. And again, lock your car.

      5) Going Out of Town?
      – Don’t make big posts on FB about leaving your house for vacay. Tell trusted neighbors, but leave that info on a “need to know” basis.
      – Get a housesitter! There are several in the neighborhood!
      – Set lighting timers to look like somone’s home, if you can’t get a housesitter.
      – Ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail/flyers/The Bag while you’re away.

      6) Security Lights Are a Huge Help!
      Porch lights, lights on the garage, or in the backyard are a major help. They make those swanky security cam videos better, make the area safer for your neighbors who walk dogs after dark, and keep potential thieves from hiding in the shadows.

      If I missed any big tips, feel free to post them below. Really, the key is common sense. Maybe we can get through this season with little drama! 😁 Happy Holidays!

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