Crime Prevention Bulletin
Tips for Shoppers
The Holiday shopping season is here again. This list of safety tips is as important as your gift list. Check this list twice before you head out to the store!
- Be alert and aware. Be attentive to your surroundings at all times.
- Only carry the amount of cash that is necessary to make a purchase. Be discreet with cash so not to draw attention to you when paying.
- Take extra precautions with your wallet and purse. Do not leave either unattended in the front of the shopping cart.
- Allow for the darkness. It gets dark early this time of the year, so be sure to factor that into your shopping plans.
- Instruct your children on holiday shopping safety, have a location to meet if the children get separated from you.
- Always lock your car doors and remember where you parked.
- Be sure to put valuables in your vehicle out of sight (i.e. packages, purses, mobile phones, CD’s etc) place them in the trunk or take them with you.
- Never hide spare keys in or on your vehicle, these are easy to find. If you need spare keys keep them in your purse or wallet and take them with you.
- Be alert to suspicious persons or circumstances. Avoid parking where you see someone sitting in their vehicle for no apparent reason.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or insecure about a situation report it to store security.
- When walking in any parking lot, grocery store, airport, shopping center, etc, walk confidently with your head up, make eye contact, and have your keys ready.
- Report all suspicious activity to 9-1-1.
- And always remember that parking lots will be more crowded and checkout lanes will be busier, so be PATIENT and have a safe and happy shopping experience.
When in Doubt, give us a Shout!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When to report suspicious activities to 9-1-1:
- Going door-to-door, especially if one or more subjects go to the back door of the business or residence.
- Waiting or loitering in front of a house or business if the business is closed or the house is empty.
- Forcible entry into your neighbor’s house or an unoccupied house in the area.
- A person running and/or carrying property at unusual hours.
- A person loitering around cars, especially if they are peering inside of the vehicle or trying the door handles for an unlocked vehicle.
- Strangers walking or driving through the area, especially making several or slow passes by an area.
- Be suspicious of delivery men that have the wrong address, or asking for someone else.
- Be suspicious of parked vehicles with people in them, or have been left for an extended period of time.
- Vehicles being loaded with property, especially from a closed or vacant home or business.
- Be aware of property being sold at a very low price.
- Unusual sounds such as gunshots, screaming, breaking glass, or dogs barking continually.
- A person exhibiting unusual actions or “Slinking” through the area.
If you see any suspicious activity call 9-1-1 immediately
Need more information? Please contact the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit at (863) 357-5362.