LIST: Tips to Avoid Theft This Holiday Season
The holiday season is finally here–and Hawaiʻi Island police are advising the public to take extra precautions against thieves.
“This time of year, more cars are parked at shopping areas or at home while their owners are out shopping or attending parties, offering criminals more opportunity to break the law,” a press release from the department read.
Here is a list of tips from HPD to help prevent vehicle thefts and break-ins:
- 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 and 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 toward the curb to make your vehicle more difficult to tow.
- Set the emergency brake to make a parked car more difficult to tow.
To reduce the threat of theft or identity theft, HPD is offering these tips:
- When shopping, do not leave purses or bags unattended in shopping carts. All it takes is a split second for a thief to walk by, remove your bag and flee undetected. Shoppers should keep their bags or purses on their person 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.
Suspicious activity can be reported to the Maui Police Departmentʻs non-emergency line at (808) 244-6400.