HPD: Holiday Theft Prevention Tips
November has arrived, which means that the holiday season is here. As holiday shopping and events rev up, the Hawai’i Police Department has issued safety tips towards the prevention of car theft, identity theft, and theft of items from within vehicles.
Tips for vehicle theft prevention:
- Remove your keys from the ignition and take them with you.
- Lock your vehicle.
- Never hide a second set of keys in your vehicle.
- Park in attended lots.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Never leave your vehicle running, even if you will be gone for only a minute.
- Completely close all windows of parked vehicles.
- Do not leave valuables or paperwork in plain sight.
- To eliminate drawing unwanted attention to contents in your vehicle, place packages or bags and other tempting items—especially cell phones and other electronic equipment—out of sight.
- At home, park your vehicle in a locked garage, if you have one.
- Back a rear-wheel-drive vehicle into your driveway to make it more difficult to tow.
- When parking on the street, turn your wheels turned toward the curb to make your vehicle more difficult to tow.
- Set the emergency brake to make a parked car more difficult to tow.
Tips to reduce the threat of theft or identity theft:
- Shoppers should keep their bags or purses on them and zipped or snapped shut.
- When paying for merchandise, be wary of openly displaying checkbooks or credit cards, as they contain vital financial information that identity thieves can write down or photograph with smart phones. If paying with cash, avoid openly displaying the contents of your wallet.
- When approaching your vehicle to load your purchases, keep at least one hand free to open your trunk or doors. While loading your packages, don’t leave your handbag or purse unattended.
- Do not leave any papers with personal information in your car. Even blank papers might tempt a thief to break into your car in an attempt to steal your identity.
Any suspicious activity should be reported to HPD by calling the department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Those who prefer to remain anonymous should call the Big Island Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.