Transcript Staff

The Norman Police are reminding residents of crime prevention tips to make the holidays a safe, secure and enjoyable time.

Capt. Leonard Judy said residents should exercise caution during the holiday season, and offers the following suggestions.



At home

Be extra cautious about keeping doors and windows locked, especially when leaving home, even for a few minutes. This should include exterior doors into an attached garage and the door from the garage to the house, Judy said.

Try not to display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.

If going out for the evening, leave a light and radio or TV on, so your home appears to be occupied. If travel will keep you away from home overnight, use one or more plug-in timers to cause lights to go on and off at the times they usually do.??

Be wary of strangers soliciting for charitable donations in attempts to take advantage of people's generosity during the holidays. When in doubt, confirm the name of the charity with them and ask for a phone number to call.??

Avoid leaving boxes out on the curb for trash pickup that gifts were in (TV, computer, VCR, etc.)

Test smoke detectors.

Never leave holiday lights on overnight or while away from the home.

Use only fire resistant ornaments and lights in good working order. If a natural tree is used, keep it well watered and locate it away from any source of heat or flame.?

Be careful about leaving pieces of packing materials, gift wrapping, bows and other small items lying around that could choke or suffocate a small child.

Never leave candles burning overnight or when away the home.



Shopping

Always lock your car, close windows and take keys from the ignition.

Lock packages and gifts in the trunk of car where they cannot be seen. If the vehicle has no trunk, conceal or camouflage them as much as possible.?

If possible, coordinate shopping trips with a friend so as not to be shopping alone.

Try to do shopping before dark if possible. Never park in an unlit lot or dark, isolated location. Check inside your vehicle before entering it for anyone who may be hiding there.

To discourage purse-snatchers, don't overburden yourself with packages. Avoid keeping all your cash in one place -- keep a small amount in your purse or billfold, and the remainder elsewhere on your person.?

If you see someone near your vehicle watching your approach, or if they approach you, return to where there are other people and report any suspicious activity to the police or store security.?



Holiday parties

Have non-alcoholic drinks available for party guests who may be teetotalers or designated drivers.

Arrange alternative transportation for intoxicated drivers. Don't let guests drink and drive.

Arrange parties at locations that have plenty of available parking. Make arrangements ahead of time for any additional parking that may be needed.

Contact neighbors ahead of time to make sure they don't have any objections.

Don't place candles or valuable items where they can be knocked over or damaged.??

Be mindful of people you didn't invite, but who may have crashed the party or been brought by an invited guest. Such people have been known to steal from their hosts.?If you don't recognize them, ask who they are and with whom they came.

Remember, especially during the holiday season, to drive at a speed appropriate for the weather and road conditions and always wear a seat belt.

"The Norman Police Department wishes everyone a happy holiday season," Judy said.

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