The holiday season is a time when busy people get busier. It’s easy to become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime.
Lakewood’s Neighborhood Watch team and Lakewood Station offers some holiday-focused safety tips to thwart thieves and stay safe.
- Make your home look “lived in” while you are away. Your home will be less vulnerable to burglary. This is a good habit even when you are just away for the day at work.
- Use timers on a few lights in the house. And put a timer on a radio and set it on a talk-radio station, so it sounds like people are inside your home.
- Have your mail/newspapers held (or ask a close neighbor to do that).
- Consider having a friend or family member “house sit” if you are gone for more than a few days.
- Ask your Neighborhood Watch Block Captain and close neighbors to be on the lookout for unusual activity while you’re away.
- Call the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station at 562-623-3500 for a “vacation check” at least a week before you travel. When you call, give the deputy some telltale items they should look for while patrolling, such as how many cars should be in your driveway, lights that should be on, etc.
- Don’t leave shopping bags or valuable items in your car when you go shopping.
- Lakewood shoppers can feel safe while shopping during the holiday season. Extra law enforcement is always provided during this time at Lakewood Center Mall. And if you ever need assistance to your vehicle, escorts are available by calling Lakewood Center security at 562-634-3497.
- The theft of mail packages left on doorsteps rises during the holidays. Consider requiring a signature at delivery or having packages sent to your work.
When at home…
- If you see unusual or suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call the Sheriff’s Station at 562-623- 3500. And if you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.
- Remember, if you “see something, say something.” It might be strangers peeking into a window or down a driveway; or maybe it’s someone unfamiliar carrying a package away from a doorstep right after a mail delivery.
- Solicitors must obtain a business license from the City of Lakewood to go door-to-door. They should have a copy of the license and company identification with them at all times, and upon request, present it. If they do not, call the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station. L.A. County licenses are not valid in Lakewood.
- Don’t feed bones to them, especially poultry bones. They can splinter, easily causing pain and even death.
- Many holiday plants are toxic if pets chew or eat them. Examples include holly, mistletoe and poinsettias. It’s wise to keep all such plants out of a pet’s reach.
- For more tips, go to www.lakewoodcity.org/petsafety.
Written by Lakewood City Hall Staff