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Citizens Police Academy: Protect yourself

I’ll do the big CPA write-up on Sunday, but for now, here are a few takeaways from tonight’s presentation by the Captain of the Major Crimes Division for reducing your risk of being a victim. All of these are common sense, yet many people ignore the simple things they can do to protect themselves.

  • Lock your car. Really? I have to tell you that? Apparently. In your driveway, at the mall, at the gas station when you run in to pay…
  • Corollary to locking your car. Don’t leave the keys in the ignition. Ever. If you’re going to warm up the engine on a cold morning, do it while you’re in the car. Or skip it and deal with the cold. You’ll save gas and the environment too.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car, especially not in plain sight. The number one property crime in Fairfax County is stolen GPS units. At Christmas, don’t put your shopping bags in your car and go back in for more gifts.
  • Be aware. Don’t talk on your cell phone while walking to your car. Pay attention to who and what are around you. And avoid parking lots at night, especially if you’re alone.
  • Never wire money. No, you didn’t win a lottery that requires a fee to collect. If your sister needs money for an emergency, talk to her in person before you send anything. Better yet, deposit it to her bank account instead, if you can. Didn’t know your nephew was out of the country, but now he’s stranded in a foreign country and needs cash? I have a bridge to sell you too.
  • If an attacker wants your purse/wallet, let him have it. Money and ID are not worth your life.
  • Keep the doors to your home locked, and if you have an alarm, use it.

Be safe!

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