Dec 13

Make Smart Choices With Your Holiday Gifts

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 11:52 AM by Adam Rosen

As gift-giving holidays approach and families gather, many residents are looking for places to stow packages and for ways to make their home safe for visitors. Make smart choices when it comes to your purchases and your safety this holiday season.

While looking for places to store or hide gifts, chose an area that is easily accessible and away from heat sources. Do not risk climbing up into an attic with heavy gifts in order to store them away. Avoid storing presents in or around electrical boxes, wires and other fire hazards. 

Do not store presents in the trunk of your car. Parents often forget that they stored gifts in their vehicle to hide them from the children. When parents leave to run errands, go shopping, etc., the gifts are at risk of being taken while the vehicle is parked and unattended. In addition, parents can leave their vehicle parked in front of their homes or in their unsecured garage, leaving those packages vulnerable to thieves.

These same tips apply to securing your weapons during visits from family and friends who have small children. The police department often sees a rise in weapons theft around the holidays due to well-meaning homeowners who stow their weapons away for visitors. During this busy season, it is easy to forget about a weapon that you set aside and that weapon can be taken before the resident realizes what occurred. Never store a weapon in your vehicle as it can be forgotten and if left unattended, can be stolen or found by a person not qualified to handle weapons. The safest place to store a weapon is in a safe; however, for those without a safe, disassemble the weapon and store the ammunition separate from the weapon. 

The Peoria Police Department wishes you a happy and safe holiday season.

Dec 06

Keeping Holiday Packages Safe and Secure

Posted on December 6, 2017 at 10:42 AM by Adam Rosen

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, many residents are patiently waiting for the safe delivery of the items they purchased online. These items are shipped in many ways, and it is important to know the status of your deliveries to keep your packages safe. 

When you order an item online, sign up for delivery alerts from the company. If possible, schedule your deliveries at a time when you know someone will be at home. Many online retailers offer the option of scheduling a delivery time or allow you to block off dates and times when you will not be home for delivery. 

If you are able to track your deliveries and realize that your package is on its way or has been delivered when you are not home, call or text a trusted neighbor or family member to retrieve your package for you. If the shipper allows, request that your delivery requires a signature and that they are not permitted to leave it at your door. 

Be a good neighbor, if you see a package on your neighbor’s doorstep or observe a delivery truck drop off a package, send your neighbor a text or give them a call to let them know the package has arrived. If you know the neighbor well enough, ask if you can retrieve the package and hang on to it for them until they come home. 

Watch out for suspicious persons in your neighborhood that may be looking to take packages. If you see someone driving slowly through the neighborhood, stopping frequently, following delivery trucks or walking up to houses, call the Peoria Police Department non-emergency number at 623-773-8311.

Nov 29

Stay Safe and Alert When Holiday Shopping

Posted on November 29, 2017 at 12:01 PM by Adam Rosen

As we begin to think about gift giving, we must also remember to keep ourselves and our purchases safe from thieves who may be waiting for that perfect opportunity to take what is not theirs. The City of Peoria has plenty of great shopping areas for you to search for that perfect holiday gift.

When you head out to shop, consider stowing your license, credit card and a small amount of cash on your person or in a pocket and take a separate bag with you for flyers, snacks, coupons and purchases. Keep your cell phone in your pocket, away from your shopping bag.  This way, if your bag gets lost or stolen, you have your cell phone handy to call for help. 

Park in a well-lit area and remember where you parked your car so that you are not distracted when you exit the store. Most parking lots have numbered rows or isles to help you locate your vehicle. Before entering or exiting a store, end your cell phone conversations and note your surroundings. Keep your keys in your hand until you enter the store and have them ready when you exit. Do not become distracted; focus on your surroundings.  Walk with confidence, keeping your bags close to you.If you feel vulnerable or note someone suspicious, head back into the store or towards a large group of people, make eye contact with them and wave.  This will attract attention to you and anyone around you so that potential thieves are aware they are being watched. 

At your vehicle, load your purchases first, then your children and yourself.  Start your vehicle and exit the parking lot right away, do not stay in your vehicle and check your phone; this leaves you vulnerable to thieves.  Do not store items in your vehicle or in your trunk and then return to the store.  Thieves wait for just this type of opportunity to take your items once you are out of sight and back into the store.  Do not leave purses, packages, laptops, phones or other valuables in plain sight inside your vehicle.  Remember that thieves can see these items and there is only one piece of glass between them and your valuables.  Finally, always remember to lock your vehicle and double check to be sure there is nothing of value left in plain sight. 

The Peoria Police Department wants you to enjoy your holiday shopping by staying safe and alert.