October marks Crime Prevention Awareness month, and area law enforcement authorities are offering tips for citizens on how to protect themselves and their property.
|"We would appreciate it if people would take their personal belongings, that are inside their vehicle, inside their home," said Monett Police Chief Tim Schweder.|
"Locking car doors and doors at home, and taking car keys and garage door openers inside the home, can help prevent a bad situation from happening," Schweder added.
According to Schweder, the Monett Police Department has received 24 reports of items stolen from vehicles during the first quarter of this year. Schweder said the department receives an average of 100 reports each year of theft-related incidents.
The Monett Police Department offers the following additional helpful tips to keep citizens safe:
* Be sure to check door and window locks at home. Porches, entrances and outdoor areas should be well lit. Trim brushes or trees that obscure windows or doors near the home. Give a copy of a house key to a trusted neighbor. Flower pots and welcome mats are the first place a burglar will look.
* Always lock vehicles. Park in well-lit areas and be particularly alert when using an enclosed parking garage. If a vehicle breaks down, lock the doors and stay in the vehicle. Tie a white cloth to the vehicle's street-side door handle or display a "Send Police" sign. Patrons can also dial *55 from a cell phone, which will contact the nearest Missouri State Highway Patrol headquarter.
* Take time to talk to children about safety and emergency situations. Children should know their full name, address, phone number and a parent's work number. Youngsters need to be taught to walk and play with friends, not alone. Remind children to never accept rides or gifts from people they do not know well. Tell children to not answer the door if they are home alone and teach them how to use the telephone properly in case of an emergency.
* Crime can happen in the workplace. If working late, ask a co-worker or security guard for an escort to the parking lot. Keep personal belongings, such as a purse or wallet, locked in a drawer or closet at all times. Call the police when noticing a suspicious person or vehicle.
* If a person becomes a victim of identity theft, notify the credit bureaus, creditors, bank and law enforcement. When dealing with financial institutions, keep a log of conversations including dates, times, names and phone numbers.