Crime Prevention

Holiday Safety Tips

Prevent Package Theft this Holiday Season
Package theft is a constant in our community. Unfortunately, these thefts typically increase during the holidays given an uptick in purchases and deliveries to doorsteps and the steady growth of online retail sales, especially during Cyber Monday.

This holiday season, the Tigard Police Department has the equipment and technology, including GPS tracking tags, to perform bait-package missions. With these devices, officers can lure criminals with a bait package, tracking their whereabouts and apprehending them.

Holiday packages on doorstepDespite these efforts, officers can’t be everywhere—even when they are able to perform proactive patrols between calls for service. Residents can prevent package theft by taking effective measures such as:

  • Arrange to pick up packages at the carrier or retail establishment. 
  • Require a signature on deliveries.
  • Ship packages to a locker where this service is available.
  • Track packages and ship them to a location where you or someone you trust is available to receive them upon arrival. 
  • Ensure that no shipments will be delivered while you are away on vacation. 
  • Report crime and suspicious activity in your neighborhood such as someone stealing a package or trailing a delivery truck by bike or car.
    • Call 9-1-1 for immediate threats to life or property or crimes in progress.
    • If it is not an immediate threat, contact the police non-emergency number at 503-629-0111. When in doubt, start with 9-1-1.

Although camera surveillance is beneficial to home security, it often does not deter package thieves.

Package theft prevention may not be as convenient as delivery to the door, but can spare residents from the violation that can impact the good cheer of the holidays.  

Holiday Parking:  Be AwareTake Extra Steps to Prevent Car Prowls This Season
During the holidays, busy shoppers leave packages and luggage in their cars while they finish their errands. Knowing this, car prowlers case shopping areas during this time of year, targeting cars where valuables are visible. Thieves can break into a vehicle in less than a minute. Please take extra precautions to prevent car prowls this holiday season:

  • Remove valuables from your vehicle. Thieves break into cars for anything that might be valuable. Shopping bags and gym bags are often targeted since they may contain items such as electronics or merchandise.
  • Carry your purchases with you while you shop. If that’s not practical, place them in the trunk and move your car to another location in the event that a car prowler is observing the parking lot.
  • Hide accessories for mobile phones and other devices. They have value and indicate that an electronic device may also be stashed in your vehicle.
  • Remove documents containing personal information, garage door openers, car keys and other items that can make you vulnerable to other crimes.
  • Close and lock windows and doors before you leave.
  • Park in a well-lit and well-traveled area to increase the chances that other shoppers can observe activity around your car.
  • Be careful about leaving your car unlocked while you push your shopping cart to the corral. Last year, officers took reports from victims whose wallets were stolen from the vehicle while they were returning their carts.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. If you observe someone looking into vehicles and/or checking car handles; immediately report the suspicious activity to the police.
    • Call 9-1-1 for immediate threats to life or property or crimes in progress.
    • If it is not an immediate threat, you can call the police non-emergency number at 503-629-0111.

Theft from vehicle can be prevented with a few extra steps this holiday season. Do your best to be mindful during this hectic time to protect yourself and your property.

Holiday Shopping: Secure Your Data OnlineCyber Security Tips
More people will be shopping online this holiday season. If choose to buy gifts online, please protect your data by considering the tips below:

  • Update your operating system and apps so they’re running with the latest security patches.
  • Choose unique user ids and passwords for your online accounts. Passwords should be long, difficult to guess and include a combination of letters, numbers and punctuation.
  • Use a credit card, not your debit card online. If there is fraud on your debit card, you will need to dispute amounts already deducted from your bank account versus disputing a charge you haven’t paid for yet. Also technically there are more protections afforded to credit cards.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to conduct business online. VPNs encrypt or secure your data while you’re online and add a layer of privacy for info sent over public or private networks.
  • Be wary of Cyber Monday emails. Messages may be phishing emails attempting to obtain your personal information or get you to click on a malicious link in the email. Similarly think twice before clicking on pop-up deals or ads.
  • Don’t conduct financial transactions using public WiFi, especially if you don’t have a VPN.
  • Make sure a website has a secure connection when it is time to pay. The URL address should show “https” and have a lock to the left of the address.
Do you have questions about crime prevention strategies?

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