Seal Beach Police Department offers holiday safety tips for the season

The holiday season is upon us and the Seal Beach Police Departments wants to remind the community of simple tips to ensure the holidays are happy and safe.

When shopping at malls or retail centers consider the following:

Park in well-lit areas. Place purchases in the trunk of your vehicle, or effectively hide them from sight, once you arrive back at your vehicle, not when you arrive at the next shopping destination. Thieves target victims by looking at the size, type and quantity of bags and items placed in an unattended vehicle. There is no such thing as a quick run into the store during the holidays.

Double check that your car doors are locked. Although simple, thefts from unlocked vehicles occur frequently, especially during the holidays. Consider taking expensive items directly home. Thieves have been known to follow victims to their cars and even to their next shopping destination in order to steal expensive purchases, like computers and high end electronics.

Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t be distracted when walking to your vehicle. Consider shopping with a friend or asking a store employee to escort you to your car.

When having items shipped to your home:

Don’t leave delivered mail and packages unattended. Have someone available to receive your shipment. Have the purchase delivered to a neighbor, friend or relative who can be at home to accept the delivery.

If possible, have the item shipped to the brick and mortar store associated with the purchase, e.g. Target, Best Buy, Apple, etc., for you to pick-up.

After opening your packages, try to disguise or hide boxes that would reveal that an expensive item is inside your home.

If you are traveling:

Ask a neighbor to watch your home and occasionally park in your driveway. Use timers for lights and install lighting and motion detectors outside your home. Have mail and newspaper deliveries stopped so that it does not pile up and alert others that you are gone.

The Seal Beach Police Department Volunteers In Policing Services (VIPS) staff will perform vacation checks at your Seal Beach residence while you are away. For more information visit: https://www.sealbeachca.gov/Departments/Police/Public-Safety/Vacation-Patrols

While celebrating:

Don’t drink and drive. If you plan to imbibe, arrange for transportation prior to drinking. Use a rideshare service, take a cab, or use public transportation to ensure our streets are safe. Celebrate responsibly.

This article was released by the Seal Beach Police Department.

Editor’s Note: The Cypress Police Department and La Palma Police Department also offer vacation check services.