Holiday safety tips

The Fayetteville Police Department offers the following shopping and safety tips for the holiday season:

Shopping

  • Be alert of your surroundings.
  • Go shopping during the day, whenever possible. If shopping at night, go with another person.
  • Dress casually, comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Be cautious when carrying a wallet or purse. They are often targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas. If possible, do not carry a purse or wallet.
  • Always carry your driver’s license or identification card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card whenever possible and try to 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 of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to maintain clear visibility and freedom of movement to avoid mishaps.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Con-artists might try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

Driving & motor vehicle break-ins

  • Be certain your vehicle is in good running condition and full of gas.
  • Avoid driving alone or at night, whenever possible.
  • If you have a cellular phone, make sure it is fully charged and operational.
  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed when in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.
  • If you must shop at night, park in a well-lit area.
  • Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
  • Never leave your vehicle’s motor running when unoccupied or with children inside.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or secure it out of sight.
  • Be sure to have your keys available prior to returning to your car.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and packages. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
  • When approaching or leaving your vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area. Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.

Automated teller machines

  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a public location or a well-lit location.
  • Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
  • Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.

Children

  • If possible, never leave small children at home alone.
  • Teach your children to go to a store clerk and ask for help if they happen to become separated from you.
  • Be certain your children know their full name, address and telephone number.
  • Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
  • Never allow children to make trips alone to the restroom.
  • Do not leave children alone in a vehicle.
  • Teach children to inform you if a stranger is bothering them.

At home

  • Secure all doors and windows when you leave the house, even if for only a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Consider signing up for a free house check done by officers with the Fayetteville Police Department or check with your local law enforcement agency to see if there is a similar service available.
  • Indoor lighting should be on an automatic timer. Consider the use of dusk to dawn or motion activated exterior lights.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.