Protect Yourself This Holiday Season

’Tis the season to be jolly. The holidays are jam-packed with all types of fun—decorations, gifts, parties, food, and more.  But nothing can ruin that yuletide cheer faster than being victimized by crime.

“During this time of year, we usually see an increase in property crimes,” said Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Sarah Yoro. “For example, we usually see a 10 percent increase in car break-ins.”

Yoro said that those with lock boxes on their cars have been particularly vulnerable this year and should be extra careful during the peak shopping season.

“Lock boxes are convenient and popular with drivers, but think twice before leaving your keys in a device that attaches to a vehicle,” she warned. “Since April, there have been around 150 auto thefts due to lock box break-ins.”

The holidays can also be a dangerous time on our roadways.

“With holiday parties and other social events, there are a lot of opportunities for people to consume alcohol,” said Yoro. “We’re urging the public to drink responsibly and to plan ahead.  Have a designated driver, catch a taxi, or call a family member or friend.  Never drive drunk.”

Want to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season? The Honolulu Police Department provides these additional safety tips:

Shopping Tips
• Shop during the daylight hours if you can. If you have to shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
• If you’re driving, park close to where you’re going and park in a well-lit area.
• Lock your vehicle, keep your windows rolled up, and don’t leave the keys in the ignition. Also, don’t leave valuables in plain-view.
• Make sure you know what you're purchasing in advance and carry only the amount of cash or credit cards you need.
• Hold your items firmly and don’t leave them unattended. Also, don’t overload yourself with too many packages.
• Don’t wait until you reach your vehicle to look for your keys. Have them ready in your hand.

While Away For The Holidays
• Keep an inventory of serial numbers for your electronic equipment such as televisions, stereos, and computers. If your items get stolen, they may be identified later if found.
• Keep indoor and outdoor lights on an automatic timer.
• Turn off all stoves and ovens prior to leaving.
• Lock all doors and windows prior to leaving and be sure to activate your home alarm system if you have one.
• Find a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to watch your residence in your absence.

While At Home
• Keep holiday gifts away from window or doors and out of sight. Burglars might see it as an opportunity to break in.
• Beware of criminals who pose as couriers delivering gifts.
• Beware of criminals who go door-to-door soliciting donations for charities.
• Always turn off your Christmas lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
• Keep your doors locked at all times.