Northwest NEWS

November 27, 2000


Safe shopping tips from the Woodinville Police Department

The holiday season is here. To help you make this busy time of year a pleasant one, the Woodinville Police Department offers some safety tips:
   Shop with a friend. Also, some stores may provide an escort to your car.
   Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas. When returning to your vehicle, watch for anyone hiding in or loitering near your car. If you feel unsafe, return to the store and ask for assistance from security.
   Carry only the cash you need. Use checks or credit cards and avoid carrying a purse, if possible.
   Be cautious when giving out your credit card number over the phone and the Internet. Know who has access to that information.
   Be wise when using ATM machines. Try to use them during daytime hours. If you need to use them at night, be sure the area is well lit. Nowadays, a number of grocery stores have ATMs located inside where it is well lit and well-populated.
   Don't advertise your purchases; keep them out of sight when shopping. If driving to several stores, make sure you place valuables/purchases in the trunk before you park and walk away. If close to home, it would be even better to drop them off.
   Avoid displaying presents through your living room window. After presents are opened, don't let your trash bins announce the new acquisitions. Record the serial and model numbers of your gifts before you give them or as soon as you receive them.
   Protect your holiday mail. Empty your mailbox each day; place a lock on it if possible. Also, when sending mail, use the slots inside the post office to avoid mailbox tampering.
   Drive with extra caution. Allow an impatient driver to pass rather than escalate hostilities. Avoid gridlock.
   Do not jaywalk. Make sure drivers see you by taking the time to cross the streets at the corners. During the holidays, more pedestrians are victims of traffic accidents than at any other time of year.
   Be a good neighbor. Call the police if you observe people knocking on doors in your neighborhood without a legitimate reason.
   Remember that it is important to report a crime. If you report it, the police can allocate resources where they are most needed.