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updated: 11/15/2012 11:59 AM

Des Plaines Police Issue Holiday Safety Tips

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Karen Kozenczak

The Des Plaines Police Department wants you to be aware that during the holiday season the potential for thefts and robberies increase. More people are out and about, and are carrying more gifts and money than during other times of the year. While there's no need to be afraid, you need to keep in mind the following holiday safety reminders:

Carry your valuables wisely. Do not keep cash in your wallet. Instead, keep it in an inside pocket and only carry the credit cards you will need.

Do not leave valuables in your vehicle. If you must leave packages in your car, put them in the trunk. Keep receipts with you.

Carry a cell phone with you. If someone makes you suspicious or uncomfortable, notify security or call the police.

Whenever possible, park and walk in well-lit areas. Be aware of your surroundings, especially the people around you.

Carry your purse close to you, with the opening or flap towards your body. Never leave a purse unattended in a shopping cart.

Do not keep a wallet, credit cards or cash in a backpack. If you are in a crowd, consider carrying the backpack in front of you. Pickpockets can quickly and easily remove items from a backpack without being noticed by the owner.

Protect your credit card numbers and other personal information. Carefully dispose of receipts that have a credit card number on them. Never provide credit card information in response to unsolicited calls or emails.

Don't announce your new high-dollar purchases after the holidays. Break down the boxes of TVs, stereos, computers, etc. and turn them inside out before putting them in the trash.

If you are traveling for the holidays, make your home look "lived in." Have a friend or neighbor collect your mail and newspapers or have your service suspended while you are away. Use timers to turn lights off and on.

To report suspicious activity, please call 9-1-1.

for more information call Des Plaines Deputy Police Chief Nick Treantafeles at 847-391-5431 or Karen Kozenczak at 847-391-5312/November 14, 2012

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