VACATION AND TRAVEL TIPS
An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist
for tips to help safeguard your home while you're away. Staying
alert to safety may make your vacation more pleasant and enjoyable.
Being a victim of a crime is no fun. RELAX, have FUN, and be SAFE!
- Have good locks on all doors and windows and
- Ask a neighbor to watch the house while
you're away. It's a good idea to leave your vacation address and
telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case
of an emergency.
- Never leave your house key hidden outside
- Stop all deliveries, or arrange for a
neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers and packages.
- Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake
leaves and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look.
- Plug in timers to turn lights, a radio or
television on and off at appropriate times. This helps to
disguise the fact that you are away.
- Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone
down low. If a burglar is around, he won't be alerted to your
absence by a ringing phone.
- Don't announce your absence on answering
- Leave your blinds, shades and curtains in a
normal position. Don't close them unless that is what you do
when you are home.
- Close and lock garage doors and windows. Ask
a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you leave
your car at home, park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked
outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are
- Secure storage sheds, attic entrances and
- Tell your local police you plan to be away.
Patrol officers may have the opportunity to periodically check
- Engrave your valuables as recommended in
Operation I.D. This simple step will allow your stolen property
to be identified and returned to you if recovered by the police.
- Travel Safely!
- At home or away, staying alert can save the
- If you are driving, make sure your vehicle
has been properly serviced and is in suitable condition for the
- Try to have specific directions and routes to
- If you get lost, call the local police for
directions or assistance.
- Always keep your vehicle doors and windows
- At stop lights and other traffic delays,
leave enough space in front of your vehicle so that you have an
escape option in case of an emergency.
- Let someone know the route you intend to
travel and your itinerary. This will help authorities in
locating you if there is a need to do so.
- Plan your trip carefully and allow for
factors such as weather, fatigue, facilities for lodging, food
and fuel. Be sure you have sufficient finances, either cash,
travelers checks or credit cards.
- Ask the hotel or motel staff about their
security measures so you know what to expect.
- Use the hotel safe to store your valuables
during your stay.
VEHICLE SAFETY TIPS
You are more likely to be a victim of a vehicle crime than
any other crime reported to the Lufkin Police Department. An
experienced Car Prowler or Thief can gain access to your car
in virtually seconds. In less than 30 seconds, someone could
break into a parked car. Most car prowls themselves take
less than two minutes. The damage done to locks and windows
can be very expensive to repair and cause great
are recommendations that can reduce your risk of being a
victim of a car prowl or theft.
- When you exit or enter
your parked vehicle, stop and take a look around the
leaving your parked car, always remove the keys, roll up
the windows and lock the car.
habit of locking your garage door and car doors.
- If possible, store your
car in a closed and locked garage.
- If your car is stored in
a carport or parked near your house, leave your exterior
lights on throughout the night.
- If you park on the
street, choose a well-lit, open space even if it means
adding additional street/yard lighting & trimming back
trees/bushes that block your view of your vehicle.
- Consider replacing the
light fixture closest to your car with a motion detector
unit. Motion detectors are a good psychological
deterrents since the normal assumption of a person
seeing a light come on is that someone has seen them.
Additionally, the light makes the prowler or thief more
having someone approach you while you are sitting in your
car at a traffic signal, pointing a gun at your face and
taking your car. Or having your vehicle stolen as you park
(even in your own driveway), or while getting gas. It can
happen anywhere, not just in "high crime" neighborhoods. It
can occur during the daylight as well as after dark.
carjackers look for
- Intersections controlled
by traffic lights or stop signs.
- Parking garages,
shopping malls and grocery stores.
- Self-service gas
stations and car washes.
- Automated teller
- Residential driveways
and streets as people get in and out of their cars.
- Highway exit and entry
ramps, or other places where drivers slow down or stop.
Before you enter your car
- Be alert to any activity
near your car. Pay attention to your surroundings.
- When approaching your
car, have your key in your hand, and check the back seat
before you get in.
- If someone is loitering
near your unoccupied car as you approach it, keep
walking until the person leaves.
- Be wary of people asking
for directions or handing out flyers. Trust your
instincts - if something makes you feel uneasy, get into
the car quickly, lock the doors and drive away.
Getting out of your car
- Park in well-lighted
areas, near sidewalks or walkways. Avoid parking near
dumpsters, woods, large vans or trucks, or anything else
that limits your visibility.
- Never leave valuables in
plain view, even if the car is locked. Put them in the
trunk or out of sight.
- Try to park in a garage
with an attendant. Leave only the ignition key, with no
- Even if you are rushed,
look around before you get out and stay alert to your
If it happens to you
- If a carjacker threatens
you with a gun or other weapon, give up your car. Don't
argue. Your life is worth far more than a car.
- Get away from the area
as quickly as possible.
- Notice and remember what
the carjacker looked like - sex, race, age, hair, and
eye color, special features, clothes and anything
specific or unusual like an accent.
- Report the crime
immediately to the police.