Personal Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Page archived as of December 14, 2016

Personal Safety Tips for the Holiday Season 

Throughout the holiday season the Alexandria Police Department typically sees an increase in thefts and robberies. Often shoppers and residents become distracted and vulnerable to holiday crimes. Shoppers have a tendency to carry more cash, valuable items they intend as gifts, and store purchases in plain view in their vehicles, which make them attractive targets. Make smart decisions to avoid becoming a victim of theft:

     • Keep your cell phone in your purse or pocket.
     • If talking on your cell phone, stay aware of your surroundings.
     • Only carry the cash/cards you intend to use.
     • Keep your purse on your shoulder, do not rest it in a shopping cart.
     • If leaving bags in your car, put them out of sight in the trunk.
     • Avoid isolated areas or taking a “shortcut” through poorly lit, alleys, parking lots, and offices after business hours.

Are you interested in using online purchase/sell apps to make extra cash for the holiday or get a bargain? These interactions can also be targeted by thieves.

     • Never go to the transaction location alone. Always bring a second person with you.
     • Exchange items in well-lit, populated areas.
     • Only meet a potential buyer or seller in a public place.
     • Do not communicate solely through an app or online. It’s best to talk to potential seller or buyer on the phone. 
     • Trust your instincts. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
     • Never invite a buyer to your home.
Have a safe holiday season. If you do happen to become a victim of theft, please call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.4444 or 911.