NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
November 21, 2008
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420


Unfortunately the Holidays can be a Prime Time for Crime. So keep these crime prevention tips in mind:

Personal Safety...

· Park your car in a well lit area and be aware of your surroundings.

· Carry only the credit cards you intend to use and avoid carrying large sums of money.

· Never leave packages or valuables in your vehicle that are visible.

· While out and about, present an alert appearance. 

· There is safety in numbers, so shop with friends or relatives.

· Carry the day's most expensive purchases closest to your body, and don't carry so much you lose the ability to react quickly.

Residential Safety...

· Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.

· Indoor and outdoor lights should be on automatic timers.

· Large displays of holiday gifts should never be visible through the windows and doors of your home.

· When leaving the house for an extended time, call the Sheriff's Office to be put on our vacation watch list.

Driving Safety...

· Please report dangerous, aggressive or impaired drivers without delay by dialing 651-7400 for South County or 689-5705 for North County. 

· Holidays are a time of celebration, so if you drink please designate a sober driver. 

A few extra precautions can keep your business from being victimized by a burglary...

· This holiday season:  keep it well lit, especially around doors, windows, skylights or other entry points.

· Remove all expensive items from window displays at night.

· Don't keep large sums of cash on hand and make frequent drops. 

· Keep your cash register in plain view from the outside of your business, so it can be monitored by the Sheriff's Office during the day or at night. Leave it open and empty after closing.

· Make sure holiday specials, placards or signs don't inhibit field of vision or the ability to see common areas.

· Check the parking lot for good lighting and unobstructed views.

· When closing for the evening, walk out as a group. 

· If you are left alone or feel nervous, call law enforcement  to ensure your safety.