Holiday Crime Prevention Tips from the Altadena Sheriff's Station

Stay safe at home, while you shop and in your neighborhood around the holidays with these tips.

As the holidays begin, so also does the opportunity for more crime.

The Altadena Sheriff's Station shared these tips for having a safe holiday season:


  • Remain aware of your surroundings, at home, in parking lots, in your driveway, in stores, everywhere you go.
  • Keep records of your credit/debit card numbers and phone numbers in a safe place in case you need to report a stolen or lost card.

Shopping Safety

  • When shopping, take only what you need--identification and the credit card or debit card you intend to use.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash; carry only the amount you need.
  • Stay alert! Be aware. Pay attention to activity around you.
  • Busy and distracted shoppers are a target for any criminal looking for an easy opportunity.
  • Park in well lighted areas.
  • Lock your vehicle.
  • Do not leave your purse or any other valuables in a shopping cart unattended.
  • Do not leave items in plain view.
  • “Window shopping” thieves will break vehicle windows to get your valuables.
  • Do not carry a purse or wallet that has long straps that dangle.
  • Carry your purse/wallet close and tight to your body.
  • Put a wallet in an inside pocket of your jacket or front pants pocket.
  • Have your car keys in hand and ready to use when you reach your vehicle.
  • When you arrive home from a shopping trip, have your keys ready to use when you approach the door.
  • Don’t be digging in your purse or shuffling packages to get to your keys.

Home Safety

  • Lock your doors and windows, even if you’re only gone for a few minutes!!
  • An unlocked door or window is an open invitation to a thief.
  • Holiday gifts should not be visible through a window.
  • Lights, inside and outside your home, should be on a timer or a dusk to dawn setting, especially if you will be away from home during the holidays.
  • Use a timer to play your radio or television when you're gone, so the house appears occupied.
  • When you arrive home from a shopping trip, have your keys ready to use when you approach the door.
  • Arrange to have packages delivered to a neighbor if you're not home to receive them.
  • Packages left on porches or doorsteps are "easy picking" for thieves. It also draws unwanted attention to your home.
  • When leaving town, have a trusted friend or neighbor take care of your home. Never cancel general deliveries such as mail, newspapers, and other services when leaving town or going on vacation.
  • Notify the Altadena Sheriff’s Station Community Relations Office when you're planning an extended absence. They can issue a vacation watch or directed patrol for your home.

Strangers At Your Door

  • Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts or packages; and
  • It’s not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holidays by soliciting donations for charities although no charities are involved. Ask for identification!

Keeping Your Neighborhood Safe

  • First, share these tips with your neighbors. Establish a network with your neighbors and make a plan for mutual protection and notification.
  • Get your Neighborhood Watch group together and go caroling. Visit the elderly and others in your area that may be isolated during the holidays.

If you see something suspicious, partner to prevent or report crime by contact the Altadena Sheriff’s Station at 626-798-1131. Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website, http://lacrimestoppers.org Visit the Altadena Sheriff's Station Web Page: http://www.altadena.lasd.org


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