New York City Police Department

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Crime Prevention Tips - June 2012

Are you careful with your mobile phone?

Electronic devices are attractive targets for thieves due to their high resale value. Electronics such as iPhones, iPods, Android devices and Mobile Phones as well as Nooks and Kindles are the most common types of stolen property in New York City – even more than currency! Mobile Phones alone account for 81% of all electronic device thefts.

So what can I do?  Remain alert and aware of your surroundings when using your device, don’t leave your device unattended and always use the security features of your phone (pin lock, find my iPhone etc.)

Are You Keeping Your Apartment Safe?

Statistics tell us 30% of all apartment burglars gained access through an open door or window. Here are some tips on reducing the opportunity for a thief to gain access into your home.

• Install two locks on your entryway doors and lock both of them when leaving.
• Lock your windows. Are your double-hung windows pinned? Consider adding a latch to allow fresh air in, but prevent the window from being opened more than a few inches. Most new windows have this feature built in, so be sure to use it.
• Is your window air conditioner secured from inside?
• Close your shades/curtains and do not leave valuable items such as laptops, jewelry and electronics in plain view of a window or door. It is common for a thief to steal these items off of tables and desks that are in close proximity of a window even when you are home.

SMASH and it’s Gone…

A recent insurance industry survey revealed that over 40% of people admit to not hiding their valuables in their vehicles.

All it takes is a few seconds for a thief to take anything you left in your car and leave you with a lot of broken glass. Everything from GPS devices to cell phones, from gym bags to sunglasses...even loose change can be tempting to a thief. Any bags left visible – even if empty – pose an enticing target for thieves.

So when you leave your car, leave it empty and leave it locked! 

Summer is here!

During the summer months, more people head to the beach, creating more opportunities for thieves. In an effort to keep crime to a minimum, we encourage you to follow these quick safety tips:

We recommend you take public transportation to the beaches, but if you must drive park your car in the beach parking lot. If the lot is full, park as near to it as possible. Parking on a side street away from the beach to save money could cost you much more in the long run. Thieves watch for people to leave their cars and head for the beach, knowing that they are not likely to come back for several hours. A quiet street, without much traffic, might provide a burglar with the perfect opportunity to break-in to your car. Never hide a spare key in or around the car.

Don’t wear jewelry to the beach. Once something like jewelry is lost in the sand it is very difficult to find.

Don’t take unnecessary items with you on the beach. Leave your checkbook, credit cards, purse and laptop at home. Limit the items in your wallet to a small amount of cash and your driver’s license.

Keep your items somewhere that is close and within view. For example, place items at your side rather than behind your back or beach chair. If you go for a swim, ask someone in your group to watch your belongings. If you go for a walk, take your valuables with you.

Be alert for people who look suspicious or out of place, and who appear to be overly concerned with other person’s actions and/or property.

Since it is very easy for people, especially children, to get lost on the beach, remember to check the number of the nearest lifeguard tower. This is a good reference point to help you remember where you are located on the beach.

When children go to public restrooms, they should be accompanied by an adult.

… and don’t forget the sun screen!

Be fit, but be smart!

A healthy lifestyle has many rewards, and for many people this means going to a gym or workout facility. But when you pack your exercise gear think about what you really need and think about safety….

Get a good lock! Center dial combination locks are not recommended due to the relatively easy way they can be opened. YouTube is full of examples of locks being opened in seconds.

Check your valuables at the front desk. Most gyms offer secured lock boxes for your valuables.

Leave it at home! Do you really need to wear jewelry to the gym? Carry credit cards? If you don’t take it with you, it can’t be stolen!

Be alert! Look for suspicious persons and report them to the police and gym staff immediately.

 Now enjoy that workout – you deserve it!