Holiday Crime Prevention Tips

The holiday season affords us an opportunity to gather with family and friends to celebrate and express gratitude.  A gathering in the Town of Duck is the perfect opportunity to enjoy our unique Town.  The holiday season is also a time of great opportunity for criminals, and while the crime rate here is very low it is always a good idea to take a few simple steps to keep it that way. While visiting and shopping in Duck please remember to lock your vehicles and never leave valuables in them.

The American Crime Prevention Institute provides the following tips for safely navigating your Holiday shopping:

Crime Prevention Tips While Shopping

  • Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Shop with a friend; there is safety in numbers.
  • Don’t buy more than you can safely carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend or ask a store employee to help you carry your purchases to your vehicle.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Pay for purchases with check, credit or debit card.
  • If you carry a purse, do not wrap the straps around your arms or shoulders.  Carry it by clutching the purse tightly under your arm or wear a fanny pack.
  • Do not carry a wallet in a back pocket.  It should be in the front pocket of your pants.
  • Thieves or robbers often look for “high value” shopping bags with your purchases.  When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag.
  • Watch purchases when eating at mall food courts; bags can be easily switched or taken.
  • Have your car keys in hand before leaving a store.
  • If you do return to your vehicle to unload packages, place them in the trunk.

Crime Prevention Tips in Parking Lots

  • If possible, avoid shopping during hours of evening or early morning darkness.
  • Park in a high visibility area with good lighting and ample pedestrian traffic.
  • Avoid parking next to vehicles with dark tinted windows.
  • Prior to arriving at a shopping center or mall, lock all valuables in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Try to walk with others, not alone – there is usually safety in numbers.
  • Walk briskly, confidently and directly through the parking lot.  Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking area.
  • Watch for people who may be following you.  If you sense someone is following you or you feel uncomfortable, return immediately to the store.
  • You may want to consider having a chemical agent or loud audible alarm in your possession.
  • Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by a cell phone call while walking to and from your vehicle.

The Duck Police Department also reminds residents who may be traveling, to lock your residence and to store in a secured location, sporting goods and other valuable outdoor use items when you are away.  Also, the Duck Police Department offers a property/house check program to the Town’s property owners. As part of the program, the officers make periodic checks of residences that are not occupied during the off-season. The officers look for open windows and doors and other signs of unauthorized entry, as well as looking for other items such as water leaks. If an officer finds anything at a residence, the homeowner or rental company will be contacted so the residence can be secured. Additionally, if it appears that a crime has occurred, the incident will be investigated.

All drivers are reminded to please obey the speed limit and be mindful of pedestrians and never drink and drive.

Have a safe and happy holiday season from the Duck Police and Public Safety Personnel.

For more information, contact 252.261.1112 or email us.