Let me provide some information that might help you close up loopholes in your private lives that may make you a crime victim. Naivety is a thing of the past; we should all should focus on acquiring skills in risk management, strategic living and, above all else, using wisdom.
1. Break routine as much as possible. The more information criminals have about the victim, the better. Everything in balance is the key. When leaving your home, tell someone your exact route and your estimated time of arrival. That way, if something happens to you, police have an idea of where to begin looking for you.
2. Avoid false senses of security. Don’t flash money even when inside a business establishment. Some criminals hang out in stores in order to spot people carrying a lot of cash.
3. Don’t easily entrust your personal possessions to another. Know who you can trust and who you cannot.
4. Be aware of petty theft opportunities. Carry your wallet in your front pants pocket or an inside jacket pocket, not your back pocket. Don’t carry more cash than you can afford to lose and carry as few credit cards as possible. Don’t ever write your PIN number on your debit and/or credit cards.
5. Know your surroundings. Be aware of what is normal in your neighborhood or any place you frequent. Situational awareness is your best friend. Dress down if needed and be sure to park in well-lit and busy areas. Fine clothes, flashy jewelry and expensive cars attract attention. Make brief eye contact with those around you but don’t stare. Stay off your cellphone and avoid being distracted.
6. Pay attention when you are driving home. If you are followed by another car, do not pull into your driveway or garage but drive to the nearest police station or call the police on your cellphone.
7. Create some noise. Radios and TVs playing on timers inside your home are good night and day.
8. Every home ought to have a safe room. Here’s what’s required: a cellular phone and a strong, solid door with a dead bolt. If an intruder gets into your home, he or she may get a few items, but not you.
Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.