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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Tech Police offer holiday safety tips

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 15 - December 8, 1994

The holiday season isn't just the season to be jolly, it's also a prime time for crime.

Crimes increase during the holiday season, so it is especially important at this time of year to take extra precautions, at work, at home, and when out driving around town. The Virginia Tech Police want to wish all of the members of the university community a safe and happy holiday. Below are a few tips that can help you achieve that goal.

AT WORK

1. When entering your office make sure you remove your keys from the lock.

2. Put keys away in a secure location don't leave them lying about.

3. Secure all personal belongings.

4. Lock your office when you leave even if you are just going to be gone for a minute. It takes approximately 15 seconds for a person to steal something.

5. Do not leave money or expensive gifts in the office overnight.

6. Make sure your office has a key policy and abide by it. Never loan your keys to anyone and if you should lose a key it should be reported to your supervisor, the key shop, and the police.

7. Try not to work late alone in the office. If you should have to work alone make sure someone knows where you are and what time you will return home. Have someone check on you periodically or contact the police and have them check on you, to make sure you are okay.

8. Use the escort service if you are returning to your vehicle alone after dark.

AT HOME

1. Always lock your door.

2. Install door viewers and use them.

3. Never buy from door-to-door salespeople unless you are sure it is a reputable dealer.

4. Never buy over the telephone.

5. Be an alert neighbor and stay aware of what is going on in your neighborhood. Report any suspicious people or activities to the police.

6. If going out of town for several days, make sure your home looks lived in and not empty: either have a neighbor pick up your paper and mail, or have delivery stopped during your absence. Leave blinds and shades in their normal position. Put an automatic timer on several lights and the radio. Hide empty garbage cans and have someone keep your property maintained.

7. Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor.

8. Ask police if they have a vacation home check.

9. Double-check all windows and doors to make sure they are locked before you leave.

10. Avoid placing presents where they can be seen from the front door or from a window.

All of these tips are good to remember year-round but now is an especially good time to keep them in mind. The holiday season is a time to be joyous, not to be become the victim of a crime.