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Safety should be part of your holidays

News Release from: Salem Police Dept.
Posted: November 19th, 2012 3:06 PM

With the busiest shopping week of the year upon us, the Salem Police Department offers the community a few prevention tips based on some of the most common crimes that occur during the holidays.

* Be aware of your surroundings.
Every year we receive reports of people putting packages in their trunks then returning to find their trunks broken into and the packages gone. If you will be storing purchases in your vehicle then returning to the store for more shopping, be aware of your surroundings. Look to see if anyone is nearby watching you. If you do observe anyone suspicious, report it immediately to the police; leave the area or park elsewhere.

* Online shopping can be safe ... if you make the effort to take these simple steps:
o Update your computer security software and make sure your firewall is set to 'on.'
o Use only merchants with secure encryption systems on the 'check out page.'
o Keep records of all online transactions and verify all transactions you make on your credit cards are yours.

* Beware of package theft. Each year we receive reports of delivery thefts where packages are left on doorsteps then get stolen before the homeowner can claim them. Prevent the opportunity for criminals:
o Have packages delivered to a location where someone can receive it, such as a trusted neighbor or family member. Utilize the package tracking option to narrow down the date and time.
o Require a signature delivery.
o Use the special instructions section of your order to indicate where you want the package to be delivered, for example on the back porch where it is out of site from the roadway.

* Leave your home in good hands. If you will be away for the holidays, make all the necessary preparations to leave it secured. However, also arrange for someone to check your home and report anything suspicious.

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