Staying safe during the holiday season

Courtesy: MGN

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV) -- The Morgantown Police Department is offering the following tips to stay safe when you’re out and about this holiday season.

-Lock your car.

-Don’t leave valuables in your car.

- Record the make, model and serial numbers to all of your valuables (electronics, firearms, etc) and photograph your jewelry. Keep a copy of these photos and serial numbers somewhere else that on your computer or at your residence. It’s easier to return stolen property when it is recovered and to prove that property is stolen when you have good identification.

If you are leaving home for the holidays:

-Have a trusted friend check on your place regularly.

-Have your mail stopped at the post office or picked up by a friend and not allowed to accumulate.

-Have your newspaper stopped or have a friend pick up the paper and sale fliers.

-Double-check that all windows and doors are locked before you leave.

-Have your lights on a timer so that come on and off like you are home.

-Have motion sensor lights on the exterior of your residence, the brighter the better.

-Contact the Law Enforcement Agency where you live and see if they have a vacation home check program. The Morgantown Police Department does have a Vacation Home Check Program. To sign up you may call 304-284-7522 (option 0).

When shopping:

- Whenever possible shop during daylight hours. This provides you with the greatest visibility while driving and allows you to observe your surroundings in the best conditions possible.

-If possible shop with a partner.

-Dress casually; wearing athletic shoes or shoes with slip-resistant souls to prevent falls.

-Always carry identification, such as a driver’s license or another photographic id, while you’re away from your residence.

-Do not carry large bulky purses or large amounts of cash while shopping.

- Always let someone know where you are going to be and what time you plan to return home.

-If you lose your credit cards or ATM cards, notify your bank immediately.

-Secure all packages out of sight in the trunk if possible.

-If you have a large amount of packages, ask a store clerk to help you to your car.

-Never leave your keys in your car.

-Park in well-lit areas.

-Have your keys in hand before you leave the store. DO NOT attempt to locate your keys while standing alone in a parking lot.

-Always lock your car door as soon as you get into your car.

-Be aware of being approached by strangers offering you a deal that sounds too good to be true. Con artists use a variety of methods of distraction in an effort to steal money and valuables.

-If you are shopping with your children, teach them to go to a store clerk or store security if they become separated or lost.