Sheriff Chip W. Simmons wants you to be safe at all times and that requires a certain amount of both knowledge and vigilance on your part. We encourage you to study the suggestions below and heed the advice in order to be less likely to be a victim of crime. The information was gathered by the ECSO Community Policing Unit.
The following Safe Shopping Tips will contribute to your safety and security while shopping year round. We can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors. Sheriff Chip W. Simmons wants you and your family to be safe throughout the year. By practicing techniques you greatly decrease the possibility of becoming a victim of crime.
- Avoid driving alone or at night.
- Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while 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-lighted area.
- Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.
- Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
- Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
- Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
- Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the care in order to open the door.
- When approaching or leaving your vehicle, 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.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
- Dress casually and comfortably.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
- Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
- Always carry your Florida Driver’s License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and / or credit card you expect to use.
- Even though your are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Pay for purchases with a check 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 of 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, bus stops, on buses and airports.
- 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. “Con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
- If possible, while shopping, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
- Teach your child to go to a police officer or store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
- Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
- Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.
- Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.
AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINE (ATM)
- If you must use an ATM, choosing one that is located inside a mall, or well-lighted 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 awaay at the ATM location.
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!
Report all crime and suspicious activity to the ECSO. In an emergency call 911. Non emergency call: 436-9620.
Questions? Call Community Policing at 436-9281.