FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – Fresno County Sheriff’s Office releases tips top avoid thefts and break-ins over the holidays.
The holiday season is now here, so this is a good time for residents of Fresno County think about ways to protect the stuff you work so hard for all year long.
Please incorporate these simple theft prevention tips into your life today and continue to do so every day to help keep you, your family and your belongings safe.
• Always lock doors and windows to your home and vehicle.
• Remove your garage door opener from your car if it is parked outside. Criminals can return later and use it to burglarize your home.
• Remove all valuable items from inside your vehicle if parked outside. Hot ticket items for thieves include: Packages, cell phones, purses and wallets.
• To prevent identity theft, it’s also a good idea to remove personal documents from your glove box or console. Vehicle registration and insurance cards can be kept in your wallet, just make sure to keep extra copies in a safe place at home. Never carry your social security card on you.
• Activate any anti-theft devices you may have on your vehicle or install one. Most anti-theft devices cost less than the deductible you would pay to replace windows that were broken and items that were stolen.
• Consider installing a burglar alarm and / or surveillance camera systems. Check the systems on a regular basis to ensure they are functioning properly. Photographic evidence is proven to be an important tool that helps detectives solve cases as it often allows the public to get involved in looking for suspects.
• Keep your property well lit. You may consider purchasing motion activated lights, which help to deter criminal activity.
• Keep bushes and trees trimmed back to limit hiding places around your house. Criminals tend to hide in these bushes to gain entry into your home.
• If you leave a vehicle home while you are away, hide the keys or take them with you. Otherwise, thieves can load large items into your car and getaway with everything.
• Stay aware of activity in your neighborhood and report suspicious persons or suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office. This is NOT an inconvenience to our patrol units.
• If you go on vacation, do not publicize it. Keep the circle of people you notify to a very small number.
• Wait until you return home to post vacation stories and photos to your social media accounts. Spreading the word that you are out of town can quickly travel to the wrong people and give them an opportunity to target your home.
• Get to know your neighbors. Exchange phone numbers and email addresses to stay informed.
• Before heading out of town, arrange for a trusted friend to retrieve your mail and newspapers upon delivery.
• If you order a package, select a destination where someone will be to physically receive it. Possibilities other than your house include your workplace or a relative who is typically always home. Also, sign up for text or email delivery notifications from companies so you know when your shipment arrives.
• Contact the Sheriff’s Office for a “House Check” if you live in the county limits and go out of town. A deputy will stop by your property and check to make sure it is secure. This is a free service. http://www.fresnosheriff.org/protect-yourself/crime-prevention/house-check.html
• Take photographs of your jewelry or unique items for reporting purposes.
• Download the Fresno Sheriff Mobile App. It is available to download for free through Google Play and the App Store. In the search box, type “Fresno Sheriff.”
• Keep a record of serial numbers to items such as televisions, computers and tablets. (The FSO mobile app offers a “property catalog” function that makes it easy to do this task).
• Join www.nextdoor.com and use the app to keep in touch with your neighbors. The Sheriff’s Office is a member of Nextdoor and uses it as a valuable tool to pass along important information to Fresno County residents.
• Download the free “Neighbors by Ring” app. It allows you to view and share videos of activity on your street so the entire neighborhood stays informed. https://shop.ring.com/pages/neighborsapp
• The phone number to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency dispatch line is (559) 600-3111.
Click to hear the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: