HOLIDAY SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS FROM THE LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT
Shopping during the holiday season can present a unique danger. Taking a few preventive measures can help keep your holiday season joyous. The holiday season is a time when busy people can become careless and vulnerable to theft, and other holiday crime.
The following tips from the Lower Makefield Township Police Department Community Policing Unit can help you be more careful, prepared, and aware during the holiday season.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member and park your vehicle in well lit areas or close to mall entrance ways.
- Don’t leave anything in plain view in the compartment of your vehicle, if your car has a trunk place any items purchased, in there. Keep loose change, GPS units and other valuables out of sight.
- Utilize your vehicle’s alarm system and if you don’t have one, purchase a “Club” at an auto parts store. This will prevent the theft of your vehicle.
- Dress casually and comfortably.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or exposing it for others to see.
- Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible. For men carry your wallet in one of your front pockets.
- Always carry your Pennsylvania Driver’s License or other identification along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
- Even though you are rushed and thinking about a hundred things, stay alert to your surroundings.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Pay for purchases with a check, debit card or credit card when possible.
- Keep cash in your front pocket.
- Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
- Keep a record of all your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
- Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
- Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
- Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
- Know the area you are going to be shopping in, have a cell phone with you in case of an emergency. Dial 9-1-1 in an emergency and describe the surroundings to the dispatcher in the event you are not familiar with the area; use landmarks, buildings, etc.
- Above all else do not panic in an emergency; remain calm and play it smart.
Safety Tips for Children
- Teach your children to stay with you at all times while shopping. They should always check first with you before they go anywhere. Always supervise your children in a public facility and accompany young children to the restroom.
- Make a plan in case you become separated. Have older kids meet you in a pre-designated spot (e.g. the sales counter or mall information booth). Teach younger children to look for people who can help within the store or mall — a uniformed security officer, a salesperson with a nametag, a mother with children, etc. They should never leave the store/mall or go to the parking lot to look for you or your car.
- Turn shopping trips into opportunities for your children to practice these “safe shopping” skills.
- Leave clothing that displays your children’s names at home, as it can prompt unwelcome attention from people who may be looking for an opportunity to start a conversation with your children.
- Never leave children in toy stores or public facilities (e.g. video arcades, movie theaters, playgrounds) and expect store personnel to supervise your children.
- Have older children take a friend, if you allow them to go shopping or to public functions without you. It’s more fun and much safer. Older children should check in with you on a regular basis while they are out. Agree on a clear plan for picking them up including: where, what time, and what to do in case of a change in plans. Utilize a cell phone if your child is allowed to carry one.
- Make other arrangements for childcare, if you feel that you will be distracted during holiday shopping.
Register Your Video Surveillance Camera
Do you currently utilize private video surveillance at your home or business? If you do, LMT Police would like to hear from you.
If you would like to let the police know that you have video surveillance and allow Officers to contact you should a crime occur in or near where your cameras are installed, please fill out the registration form here.
Click here for a brochure with more information.
School Safety Grant Awarded to LMT
In early November, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) presented a $60,975 federal grant to Lower Makefield Township for the purposes of bolstering school security, educate students and faculty on school safety, and support law enforcement officers and first responders on school safety. Lower Makefield Township is only one of two municipalities in Pennsylvania that received grant funds from the 2018 COPS School Violence Prevention Program (The City of Erie received the other grant). Congratulations LMT Police and Officer Mike Pell for his work to make this happen! https://fitzpatrick.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/fitzpatrick-presents-school-safety-grant-lower-makefield
Slow Down LMT Signs
Slow Down Lower Makefield signs are available for $5/each at the LMT Tax Collector’s Office.
Each sign shows “Slow Down Lower Makefield” on one side and “Support LMT Police” on the other.
Drug Take Back Bin
A Note from LMT Police
Thank you to the residents of Lower Makefield Township who have taken the time to visit and use the Drug Take Back bin that is located inside the lobby of the Police Headquarters.
As a reminder, there are several things that you MUST NOT DEPOSIT inside the bin.
DO NOT DEPOSIT:
- Syringes / needles of any kind.
- Liquids or Aerosol cans of any kind.
- Loose pills, please place them in a closed container.
The Lobby is under video surveillance 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Drop off location – 1100 Edgewood Road, Police Headquarters.
Hours – 8am to 4.30pm – 7 days a week.
For general townwatch information or more information
about starting a Neighborhood Watch in Lower Makefield Township please contact:
Lena Beaven, LMTNWA C0-President
Hillwood Terrace NW Coordinator
Barbara Bernal, LMTNWA C0-President
Winterfield NW Coordinator
Officer Mike Pell
Lower Makefield Police Department